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Morocco

OCTOBER 25

Morocco’s Finance Minister Nizar Baraka introduced a 2013 budget that set spending at $34.7 billion and targeted a deficit of about 5 percent, as his government looks to stave off unrest that has rocked other Arab nations.| Bloomberg

OCTOBER 24

The United Nations special rapporteur on the use of torture, Juan Mendez, said that Morocco uses torture in its own country and on opponents in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. | RNWA

OCTOBER 23

Dozens of European prisoners in Morocco, many of whom also have Moroccan nationality, announced the start of a hunger strike to draw attention to the poor conditions in which they are being held and the physical abuse they suffer. | EUbusiness

OCTOBER 19

Morocco's government on Thursday denied claims that Salafists had destroyed stone carvings dating back more than 8,000 years in the High Atlas mountains. | AFP

OCTOBER 17

A Moroccan court has jailed an activist with the February 20 protest movement for twelve years for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration. The Moroccan Association for Human Rights slammed the ruling as an act of vengeance. | AFP

OCTOBER 16

Despite its cash shortage Morocco has budgeted subsidy spending on energy and staples next year close to its level this year, in a move that may upset creditors and investors ahead of a maiden dollar sovereign bond. | Reuters

Morocco and the United States have announced a wide range of areas for bilateral cooperation in their recently launched Morocco-US Strategic Dialogue. Such areas include progress on ongoing democratic reforms, economic growth and jobs, women's empowerment and human rights, interfaith tolerance, countering terrorism, and ending the violence in Syria. | CNBC

OCTOBER 15

Morocco is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of babies abandoned by single mothers due to social prejudice and outdated legislation. According to a study carried out by Insaf, an NGO that supports women and children in distress, 27,200 young women gave birth outside marriage in 2009, with a total of 8,760 babies abandoned, equating to 24 babies per day on average. | AFP

In an address to parliament, King Muhammad VI called on parliamentarians to implement the proposed changes in the new constitution, with a special focus on founding a proposed new upper legislative body that would help decentralize rule; the king also called for reforming the judiciary and moving forward on making the Berber language official. | Asharq Al-Awsat

OCTOBER 11

King Mohammed plans to tour Gulf Arab countries in the next few weeks to discuss investment and bilateral relations, a senior Kuwaiti official said on Thursday. | Reuters

The European Investment Bank (EIB) lent Morocco 42.5 million euros to support the country’s National Irrigation Water Saving Program. The loan aims at developing modern farming while ensuring effective, sustainable management of water resources, an EIB press release said. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 10

Morocco has delayed its maiden $1 billion dollar bond sale to the end of November pending market stability, but banks have already been mandated for an issue that may exceed the initial $1 billion mark. | Reuters

OCTOBER 9

Reporters Without Borders says that it is concerned about the increasing violations of freedom of news and information in Morocco. The rights group cited the example of journalist Ali Lmrabet who is among the targets of sustained harassment for criticizing certain political leaders or for tackling subjects that directly or indirectly affect King Mohammed. | Reporters Without Borders

OCTOBER 4

Moroccan protesters targeting a Dutch abortion-rights activist ship scuffled with police in the port of Smir where a Dutch ship promoting and planning to provide safe abortion in Morocco had been due to dock. Moroccan authorities have blocked the Dutch ship from docking saying that it did not have proper permission. | AP

OCTOBER 2

Prime Ministers Abdelilah Benkirane of Morocco and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy are to meet on Wednesday in the Moroccan capital for the first such high-level encounter in four years. The economic crises rocking Spain and Morocco may favor stronger ties between the neighboring kingdoms ahead of a top-level Spanish delegation’s visit to Rabat, despite their historic differences. | AFP

OCTOBER 1

King Mohammed VI of Morocco renewed his country’s firm commitment to Western Sahara talks, showing his willingness to negotiate on the basis of the principles set by the Security Council and the Moroccan-proposed autonomy initiative to resolve the territorial dispute, in a speech delivered on his behalf at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly. | Medafrica

SEPTEMBER 26

Morocco secured a $300 million World Bank loan to tackle youth unemployment and boost gender equality, continuing a trend of international borrowing as it battles fallout from the eurozone crisis. | Reuters

SEPTEMBER 25

The Arab Monetary Fund said on Tuesday it was arranging a $127 million credit facility for Morocco to help the country deal with rising food prices, which could threaten its political stability. | Reuters

Morocco's justice minister has admitted to several cases of abuse by police at recent protests, saying the government would review how such protests were dealt with. | RNW

SEPTEMBER 21

The Moroccan government's handling of protests calling for reform is being criticized for becoming increasingly authoritarian. | Think Africa Press; Al-Monitor

A recent survey carried out by Polisario’s youth wing found that over 85 percent of the young Saharawis polled were in favor of ending the current ceasefire with Morocco and returning to war. | Pambazuka News

SEPTEMBER 20

The UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, met former political prisoners belonging to the banned Islamist party, the Justice and Charity movement, during a visit to Morocco on Wednesday. He visited the Western Sahara’s largest prison in its main city Laayoune, which human rights groups are rarely given access to. | AFP

SEPTEMBER 19

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights called for an UN mechanism to monitor and protect human rights violations in the Western Sahara. | SPS

SEPTEMBER 18

Al-Qaida's branch in North Africa on Tuesday called for attacks on U.S. diplomats and an escalation of protests in the Maghreb against the recent anti-Islam video. | AP

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced its first investments in Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia on Tuesday and said it was preparing to invest up to 200 million euros by the end of the year in the region. | Reuters

SEPTEMBER 17

Human Rights Watch urged Morocco on Monday to investigate accusations that police tortured pro-democracy activists from the February 20 movement to force false confessions. | Reuters

Morocco’s foreign exchange regulated said that Morocco's trade deficit rose 6.1 percent from last year, raising the chance the country might have to dip into an IMF facility amid dwindling foreign currency reserves. | Reuters

SEPTEMBER 14

During the launch of the Morocco-U.S. Strategic Dialogue at the U.S. State Department yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised Morocco as a "leader and a model" in a region where the United States needs a strong, reliable, and influential ally. | PR Newswire

SEPTEMBER 13

Hundreds protested on Wednesday outside the US consulate in Morocco's largest city Casablanca to decry a film deemed insulting to Islam that already sparked deadly violence in Libya. Some shouted anti-US slogans, including "Death to Obama!", but without resorting to violence. | AFP

U.N. special rapporteur on torture Juan E. Mendez will embark on a weeklong visit to Morocco starting September 15 to assess the country's human rights record since the constitution was adopted last year, his preliminary findings will be announced at a press conference on September 22. | APS; UPI

SEPTEMBER 11

The US Department of State has announced the expected launch of the Morocco-U.S. Strategic Dialogue in Washington this week. The Strategic Dialogue plans to strengthen Morocco-U.S. relations and “implement the two countries' shared vision for the Middle East and North Africa”. | PR Newswire

Morocco’s Deputy Energy Minister said that the government’s goal is to generate 42 percent of its supply from renewable energy, including 14 percent from solar energy, by the year 2020. | AFP

SEPTEMBER 6

The Moroccan Association of Human Rights criticized the harsh treatment and expulsion of illegal sub-Saharan immigrants, after hundreds were kicked out of Morocco in a swoop that began earlier this week. Between 20,000 and 25,000 unregistered sub-Saharan immigrants live in Morocco. | AFP

The Associated Press published an article discussing the growing splendor of Morocco’s royal court and the resentment toward it among a growing number of Moroccans. | AP

SEPTEMBER 5

Morocco’s default risk had the biggest monthly drop in the past ten months after obtaining financing from the IMF. Morocco is likely to post a budget deficit of 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product this year. | Gulf News

SEPTEMBER 4

The African Development Bank has granted Morocco $800 million in loans to support renewable energy programs. The funds will help Morocco develop a concentrated solar power plant in the town of Ouarzazate. | Bloomberg

Morocco is to host the next “Friends of Syria” meeting on the country’s conflict in October, rather than in September as originally scheduled, official sources said on Friday. | Gulf News

AUGUST 28

In its latest report, the Moroccan state planning commission said that Morocco's economic crisis saw consumer confidence fall for the third straight quarter. | Middle East Online

According to a judicial source, a young Moroccan protester has been handed a three-month jail sentence for eating in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Young Moroccans formed an online protest group last month called Masayminch (“"We’re not fasting"”) to defend the right of non-believers to eat, drink, or smoke in public during Ramadan. | Al-Ahram

AUGUST 27

On Saturday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Morocco’s monarch he would not give in to demands to change his peace envoy on the Western Sahara conflict. Morocco announced that it no longer has confidence in U.N. envoy Christopher Ross, whom they accused of being “unbalanced and biased.” | Al Arabiya

In a press release, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information criticized the Moroccan police for using excessive force to disperse last week’s demonstrators protesting against the allegiance to the king ritual. The police kicked, punched, and used batons and sticks to disperse people gathered in front of the parliament, including some journalists, and methodologically hunted down protesters who attempted to escape. | ANHRI

AUGUST 23

Moroccan riot police forcefully dispersed a protest outside parliament Wednesday, where activists had gathered to call for the abolition of a ceremony of loyalty to the king, AFP journalists reported. | AFP

Reporters Without Borders condemned an attack by police officers on Agence France-Presse correspondent Omar Brouksy while he was covering a demonstration by various groups and NGOs outside parliament in Rabat. | Reporters Without Borders

AUGUST 22

Moroccan government officials pledged their allegiance to King Mohammed VI on Tuesday, bowing down before the monarch at an annual "celebration of loyalty" that activists have criticized as "backward." | AFP

AUGUST 20

King Mohammed VI has granted partial or full pardons to 562 prisoners to mark the Eid, the justice ministry announced on Sunday. | AFP

AUGUST 16

Morocco’s prime minister said on Monday that the national economy is projected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2012 and called on critics to cease “mystifying” the situation. The prime minister was referring to detractors who have been claiming that there is a lack of confidence in the economy and lack of trust in the government. | Morocco World News

AUGUST 14

Morocco’s prime minister said on Monday that the national economy is projected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2012 and called on critics to cease “mystifying” the situation. The prime minister was referring to detractors who have been claiming that there is a lack of confidence in the economy and lack of trust in the government. | Morocco World News

AUGUST 13

Hundreds of activists took to the streets of Morocco’s main cities to protest against corruption, the high cost of living, and other grievances. Rights groups, trade unionists and the February 20 protest movement had called the demonstrations amid frustration at the perceived failure of the Islamist government to make good on its electoral promises. | Gulf Today; Al Jazeera

Morocco's budget deficit increased almost five-fold in the past 12 months following the effects of higher wages and pensions for the public sector. The budget deficit increased to $2.64 billion from only $470 million a year earlier. | Reuters

AUGUST 10

Rights groups, trade unionists and members of the February 20 protest movement have called for demonstrations across Morocco on Saturday against the high cost of living and other causes of social discontent. | AFP

AUGUST 8

A delegation of top Libyan officials, headed by interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib, are meeting with their Moroccan counterparts to discuss the crisis in Mali, the Arab Maghreb Union and bilateral economic cooperation. | Gulf Today

AUGUST 6

Morocco plans to sell at least $1 billion of sovereign bonds probably in October, a senior official source said on Sunday, after obtaining a $6.2 billion lifeline from the IMF aimed at reinvigorating growth. | Reuters

AUGUST 2

The Moroccan government has revised down its 2012 inflation forecast to 1.5 percent from a budgeted 2.5 percent in part due to a slower pace in an expected dismantling of subsidies on food and energy products, a finance ministry source said on Thursday. | Reuters

AUGUST 1

On Morocco's 13th Throne Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. was working to strengthen ties with the country. | Bernama

JULY 30

The World Bank is loaning Morcoo $300 million to fund a project to support the second phase of the country’s anti-poverty initiative. | Bernama

For the first time in decades, the Throne celebration, which marks the anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, won’t include the allegiance to the King. | Morocco World News

JULY 23

Morocco’s minister of Higher Education has announced a government decision to put an end to free higher education studies and to annul the promotion of professors on the basis of seniority. | Morocco World News

JULY 20

A member of Morocco’s youth-led February 20th Movement received a four-year prison sentence for participating in a demonstration. | Magharebia

JULY 18

Morocco has indicted a cleric for calling for the murder on religious grounds of a local newspaper editor who urged greater sexual freedoms in the country. | Morocco World News

JULY 16

A former Moroccan minister has called upon activists around the country to protect and demand the legalization of the Amazigh language. | Morocco World News

Morocco has ordered the Syrian Ambassador to leave the Kingdom, prompting Damascus to label Morocco’s ambassador there as persona non grata. | Reuters

JULY 15

Abdelilah Benkirane has been reelected head of the PJD with 85 percent of the votes against his contender Saad Dine El Otmani. | Morocco World News

JULY 13

Morocco’s activists have expressed their dissatisfaction after the country’s only female minister made a comment on the issue of child abuse being politically exploited by organizations and harming the country’s image abroad. | Magharebia

JULY 12

A Moroccan minister in charge of relations with parliament and civil society has urged his associates to get a petition signed by one million people demanding that the government introduce a two percent wage cut in all sectors. | Morocco World News

A Moroccan activist movement has launched a page demanding that “any Moroccan who feels the urge to drink and eat during Ramadan must be allowed to do it.” | Morocco World News

JULY 10

A Moroccan rapper who was jailed for “showing contempt” to the country’s civil servants over one of his songs has announced that he will begin a hunger strike. | Bikya Masr

Moroccan security forces have arrested four people on charges of espousing jihadist thought and making illegal crossings into Algeria. | Magharebia

JULY 9

The call by a Moroccan imam for the death of a journalist who spoke out in defense of sexual freedom has ignited a fierce debate across the country. | AFP

JULY 5

Moroccan female activists are calling for street protests for “the defense of individual freedoms” in which participants are asked to wear tank tops in solidarity with a girl who was attacked by extremists for wearing one. | Morocco World News

JULY 3

Rabat’s Administrative Court has approved a new Islamist political party in Morocco known as “Al-Oumma.” | Morocco World News

JULY 2

The World Bank has approved a $350 million loan package for Morocco to help alleviate poverty and support economic growth. | Magharebia

JUNE 29

Tunisia has granted freedom of movement, employment, ownership and investment to nationals of Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. | Morocco World News

JUNE 28

The Director of the International Festival for Human Rights has decided to sue Morocco’s Minister of Family and Solidarity for religious discrimination after she withdrew subsidies from the festival. | Morocco World News

JUNE 27

The Moroccan government is considering the possibility of increasing the minimum pension to 1500 dirhams. | Morocco World News

JUNE 26

Morocco has unveiled details of its plans to re-launch the country’s stock market and to boost its capital markets. | Tax News

JUNE 25

According to the Foreign Ministry, Morocco continues to search for a political solution to the Sahara issue, noting that its solutions have recently been commended by a number of influential countries as “positive and credible.” | Morocco World News

JUNE 22

The Moroccan Minister of Justice has declared that the “era of arbitrary detention is over.” | Morocco World News

JUNE 20

Morocco and Tunisia are working to strengthen their bilateral partnership and have just signed a number of partnership agreements in education, renewable energy and new technologies. | Magharebia

JUNE 19

Employees in Morocco’s health care sector will start a national strike tomorrow, calling for an end to corruption. | Morocco World News

JUNE 18

Reporters without Borders is speaking out against the recent two-year jail sentence and 5,000 dirham-fine imposed on well-known Moroccan blogger Mohamed Sokrate on what are allegedly trumped-up charges of drug possession and trafficking. | All Africa

JUNE 14

Morocco’s economic growth rate is forecast to be 5 percent for 2013, the World Bank said in an e- mailed statement today. | Bloomberg

JUNE 12

A conference in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Tuesday launched a call for the legalization of abortion in the north African country to end the “real tragedy” of backstreet terminations. | al Arabiya

JUNE 11

Morocco's ambitious and expensive plan to draw 40 percent of its energy needs from the limitless power of its blazing sun by 2020 received a publicity boost this week as the first solar powered plane to make an intercontinental flight landed in the North African kingdom. | Associated Press

JUNE 8

According to PM Benkirane, the rise of petrol, diesel and fuel oil prices is meant to reform Morocco’s compensation fund so that it can directly benefit the underprivileged. | Morocco World News

JUNE 7

Morocco’s Prime Minister has promised to strengthen the North African nation’s social safety net beginning with a planned reform of the costly subsidy system. | Morocco World News

The Moroccan Justice and Development Party has submitted a draft law prohibiting all forms of advertising for any beverage containing alcohol. | ANSA

JUNE 6

The Casablanca trial of three young men affiliated with the Islamist Hizb Al-Tahrir has begun for their alleged attempts to undermine “the country’s security and stability by recruiting the biggest number of supporters.” | Magharebia

JUNE 5

The Moroccan minister of interior has said that while the government has not yet set a date for the country’s next elections, an announcement will be made soon. | Morocco World News

JUNE 4

Morocco has raised subsidized fuel prices by about 20 percent for gasoline and 10 percent for diesel, in a move that could save $560 million through the end of the year. | Bloomberg

JUNE 1

The first bill submitted to the Moroccan parliament by the Islamist government grants the military criminal immunity against any judicial prosecution, sparking uproar. | Magharebia

MAY 31

A Moroccan draft law that seeks to grant members of the armed forces legal immunity for “military operations” carried out inside the Kingdom has sparked criticism by human rights organizations. | Al-Arabiya

MAY 29

A Moroccan draft law that seeks to grant members of the armed forces legal immunity for “military operations” carried out inside the Kingdom has sparked criticism by human rights organizations. | Al-Arabiya

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in Casablanca in a rally considered to be the largest since January. | BBC

MAY 22

The new Moroccan government panel, the High Commission for Comprehensive and Profound Judicial Reform, has been set up to accelerate demands by judges and citizens, protect judicial independence, and modernize the courts. | Magharebia

MAY 18

A Moroccan court has sentenced a man found guilty of raping two young sisters between age 6 and 8, to three years in prison, in a ruling that is being slammed by rights groups. | Al-Arabiya

Morocco has decided to withdraw confidence from the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Sahara. | Morocco World News

MAY 16

A World Bank report has found that almost half of Moroccans between the ages of 15 and 29 are neither working nor in school. | Magharebia

A number of Islamists imprisoned in Moroccan jails are participating in hunger strikes that are threatening their health. | Morocco World News

MAY 15

About 2,900 Moroccan judges began a week-long strike to protest against judicial corruption and interference by the executive branch. | Bloomberg

MAY 14

Weapons smuggled into Morocco by terrorists of the “Mujahideen Movement of Morocco” have been uncovered in several cities across the kingdom; thus far, 15 people have also been arrested in relation with this group. | Magharebia; Morocco World News

The head of Morocco’s broadcasting authority has been sacked by the King following disputes on the regulation of television broadcasts. | Ahram Online

MAY 11

Morocco is willing to support “any specific action” by the UNSC to face the terrorist risk in the Sahel region. | Morocco World News

MAY 10

Prime Minister Benkirane is trying to avoid the approval of a bill that would lead to the implementation of a tax on the wealthy. | Morocco World News

MAY 9

King Mohammed has appointed the members of the High Commission for the Reform of the Judiciary. | Morocco World News

The members of Morocco’s lower house of Parliament have issued a statement banning the use of Tamazigh in the deliberation of the legislative body until further notice. | Morocco World News

MAY 8

More than half of Morocco’s judges have signed a petition that calls for prosecutors to be allowed to operate independently of the executive branch. | AP

MAY 7

Moroccan authorities have dismantled a terror cell linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. | Magharebia

MAY 4

Communications Minister Mustapha Khalfi has announced the establishment of a committee for the reform of the press and publishing codes in Morocco. | Morocco World News

MAY 2

Moroccans took to the streets in celebration of May Day, demanding the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution and a respect for the freedoms of trade unions. | Morocco World News

MAY 1

Moroccan Prime Minister Benkirane is meeting with his cabinet to smooth over some recent high-level disagreements among the country’s ministers. | Magharebia

APRIL 27

Morocco just unveiled a new strategy to cut the AIDS mortality rate by 60 percent over the next four years. The Moroccan health ministry will focus on public awareness, targeted prevention, and ending the stigma associated with the condition. | Magharebia

APRIL 25

Morocco’s Parliament is now debating a bill that would give the Prime Minister some of the power now held by King Mohammed. | Magharebia

APRIL 24

Morocco’s prime minister has criticized some of the courtiers around King Mohammed in a set of comments which some regard as the potential start of a confrontation between the Islamist-led government and powerful figures close to the palace. | Reuters

APRIL 23

Morocco is seeking the extradition of a group of several prisoners detained in Iraq for joining jihadist groups and taking part in terrorist acts. | Magharebia

APRIL 20

Morocco finds itself torn in a media debate on some guidelines that seek to Islamize public broadcasting, including a reduction of the use of French, broadcasting the call to prayer, and banning lottery advertisers. | CBS News

APRIL 19

The UN has stepped up complaints about Morocco’s actions in the Western Sahara. | Middle East Online

APRIL 18

Morocco plans to introduce a law this year to regulate strikes; last year, the country averaged one strike per day, paralyzing public services and leading to the loss of more than 300,000 working days. | Reuters

APRIL 17

The Unemployment Movement in Morocco, a loose coalition of associations across the country, continues to protest and demand that qualified graduates be given priority for work. | BBC News

APRIL 16

Morocco has finally passed its 2012 budget, while protesters demonstrate against unemployment, and both drought and falling tourism threaten the country’s economy. | Bloomberg

APRIL 13

Morocco is taking action in the form of a 1.53 billion dirham program to help farmers in the country who are suffering from drought. | Magharebia

APRIL 12

Twenty-seven political prisoners in Morocco are on hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions, uninvestigated cases of torture and detention without sentencing. | News 24

APRIL 11

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has asked Morocco and the Polisario to continue Western Sahara talks. | Magharebia

APRIL 10

Morocco will raise taxes for a social solidarity fund to develop poor areas in the country and pave the way for a reform of food and energy subsidies. | Ahram Online

APRIL 9

Morocco has dismantled a “terrorist cell” consisting of three individuals who were plotting attacks against government buildings and ATM machines. | Al-Arabiya

APRIL 6

The Moroccan government has announced that it would restrict pay from employees who choose to protest. | Magharebia

APRIL 4

Morocco plans to establish a National Press Council to further develop the sector; consultations are also ongoing on the regulation of print journalism. | Magharebia

APRIL 3

Statements by the Minister of Communications Mustapha Khalfi on a ban on the live transmission of gambling in Morocco have stirred much controversy. | Al Arabiya

APRIL 2

Morocco’s new government is facing dire economic times, caught between rising prices, slowing growth, and a harsh drought that has affected farming. | Ahram Online

MARCH 30

Morocco’s Supreme Court has found that the country’s bourse watchdog did not properly investigate cases of insider trading involving gains of close to $30 million, revealing evidence of graft and corruption. | Ahram Online

MARCH 29

Morocco’s trade deficit has dramatically widened due to the soaring costs of energy and wheat imports. | Middle East Online

MARCH 28

Morocco is setting aside 32.5 billion dirhams for its compensation fund this year, on top of 14 billion dirhams of arrears. | Magharebia

MARCH 27

A draft bill with regulations for the introduction of Islamic finance products will be submitted to parliament soon, paving the way for Morocco’s first Islamic bank. | CPI

MARCH 26

Tens of thousands of Moroccans have staged a pro-Palestinian march in Rabat; the protest was organized by Al-Adl Wal Ihsan. | Reuters

MARCH 21

The suicide of a Moroccan girl who was forced to marry her rapist has launched calls for reform and a national dialogue on Article 475 which allowed for the marriage to take place. | Magharebia

MARCH 20

The Moroccan Foreign Minister has stated that his country rejects military intervention in Syria, noting that such a step would only complicate matters further. | Kuwait News Agency

MARCH 19

Hundreds of Moroccan women continue to rally outside of Parliament to demand a change to the penal code that allows a rapist to marry his victim to avoid prosecution. | Magharebia

MARCH 16

Morocco’s government expects inflation to more than double this year to as much as 2.5% due mostly to higher global commodity prices and the effect of drought on supplies of locally produced food. | Ahram Online

MARCH 15

Moroccan activists have taken to the streets to up pressure in order to scrap the laws that allow rapists to marry their victims. | BBC News

MARCH 13

Protests continue to spread in Morocco’s northern Rif mountains after clashes with police have resulted in serious injuries after the arrest of a local activist. | AP

MARCH 12

According to Moroccan state news, anti-government riots have spread in the northern part of the country, resulting in serious injuries among security forces. | AP

MARCH 9

The foreign ministers of France and Morocco have reiterated their opposition to outside military intervention against Assad in Syria. | Expatica

MARCH 7

France’s foreign minister has stated that Morocco’s plan for granting the disputed territory of Western Sahara autonomous status is the only realistic proposal for the territory. | Middle East Online

MARCH 5

A Moroccan man has been sentenced to six months in jail for flying the Israeli flag over his home. | YNet News

MARCH 2

The Global Food Security Forum is set to open in Rabat to focus on creating sustainable, locally-appropriate solutions to the food security challenge. | Magharebia

MARCH 1

Morocco and Spain are opening joint police stations in Tangier and Algeciras to coordinate against crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration. | Magharebia

FEBRAURY 29

Reporters Without Borders has expressed its dissatisfaction with Morocco’s recent newspaper censorship and attempts to suppress online expression. | All Africa

FEBRAURY 28

A call by a prominent Moroccan preacher to mark a National Chastity Day has stirred controversy in the country. | Al-Arabiya

FEBRAURY 27

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton has urged Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia to maintain the momentum of the Arab Spring through deepened democratic reforms. | Magharebia

A Moroccan court has sentenced 27 men to prison terms of up to six years for plotting terrorist attacks against security forces in the country. | Magharebia

FEBRAURY 22

The life of a jailed Moroccan student, who belongs to a banned left-wing movement and has been on hunger strike, is in danger after he refused to sign a royal amnesty and end his strike. | Ahram Online

FEBRAURY 21

A few thousand people gathered in a number of Moroccan cities to mark the one year anniversary of the country’s Arab Spring protests. | USA Today

Morocco has banned an issue of the Spanish daily El Pais over a cartoon that allegedly tarnished the image of King Mohamed. | Magharebia

FEBRAURY 17

European Union lawmakers approved a new trade deal with Morocco on Thursday that will significantly extend duty-free sales of agricultural, food and fisheries products between the North African kingdom and the 27-nation bloc. | Al-Ahram

Siemens Energy has secured its first wind turbine orders with a total capacity of 100 MW in Africa. Nareva Holding and Siemens signed a contract for the delivery of a total of 44 wind turbines for the Haouma and Foum El Oued wind power plants in Morocco. | ESI Africa

FEBRAURY 16

The European Parliament has approved a controversial fishing and farming accord with Morocco that will reduce customs costs and boost trade across the Mediterranean. | Washington Post

Moroccan protesters are preparing to take to the streets this weekend in commemoration of the first year anniversary of the February 20 pro-democracy movement. | Washington Post

FEBRAURY 15

Morocco’s government has begun drafting a bill to introduce Islamic banks to the country. | ANSA

FEBRAURY 14

A Moroccan court has handed an activist three years in jail and a hefty fine for “insulting the king” through an online video. | Bikya Masr

FEBRAURY 13

Although there is no pressure for Morocco to tap the international bond market in 2012, the country’s finance minister has stated that it may decide to in light of a surge in the current account deficit. | Ahram Online

FEBRAURY 10

Eighteen year-old Walid Bahomane has been accused of “defaming Morocco’s sacred values” after he posted pictures and videos on Facebook mocking King Mohamed. | Morocco Board News Service

FEBRAURY 9

Abdelilah Benkirane's government looks to do more than follow through on their own pledges to unemployed young people; they plan to resolve job issues left unsettled by the former Moroccan administration. | Maghrebia

Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has declared a war on the rentier economy, pledging to remove privileges and exemptions based on patronage. | Maghrebia

FEBRAURY 8

The Tunisian president has arrived in Morocco for meetings with King Mohamed and Prime Minister Benkirane on the revival of the Arab Maghreb Union, economic cooperation and security. | Magharebia

 

FEBRAURY 7

The Moroccan government has begun to work on fulfilling promises to employ young people, as well as resolve job issues left unsettled by the former administration. | Magharebia

Despite government reports that calm has returned to Taza, local media has reported that clashes between security forces and demonstrators are ongoing. | Al-Arabiya

FEBRAURY 4

The Moroccan judicial police have dismantled a cell linked to an international extremist organization known as the “Islamic Liberation Party.” | Magharebia

Morocco’s King Mohammed has issued pardons to several leading Islamists who rights groups claim were unfairly judged. | News 24

FEBRAURY 3

Morocco and Tunisia have inked a cooperation agreement to fight organized crime; they will exchange information and resources to combat money-laundering, funding of terror groups and other financial crimes. | Magharebia

FEBRAURY 2

Morocco has vowed to push for a consensus resolution on the deadly crisis in Syria. | AFP

FEBRAURY 1

Benkirane’s government plan has passed with 218 votes (135 abstentions). Parliamentarians who did not support the plan cited the unrealistic nature of the plan. | Magharebia

JANUARY 31

Despite Morocco’s implementation of a number of job creation measures, a number of self-immolations continue to take place. | Magharebia

JANUARY 30

For the first time in Moroccan history, a number of ministers have publicly declared their assets. | Magharebia

With Europe facing economic crisis, Moroccan officials have begun to meet with and establish relations with African officials to strengthen ties and boost investment. | Magharebia

JANUARY 27

The reform and democracy programs of the Benkirane government have been approved by the Moroccan House of Representatives. | Morocco News Agency

Parliament’s new speaker is under pressure to combat truancy and absenteeism in the Moroccan Parliament. | Magharebia

JANUARY 26

Morocco’s parliament has approved a government five-year plan which targets economic growth of 5.5 percent a year during its 2012-2016 mandate. | Reuters

Algeria and Morocco have agreed to meet twice a year for bilateral discussions. | Magharebia

JANUARY 25

Moroccan security forces have attacked protesters in Rabat after an anti-government protest over the death of Abdelwahab Zaydoun, who set himself on fire due to unemployment. | Press TV

JANUARY 24

A Moroccan man who set himself on fire to protest unemployment has died. | AP

The Moroccan government has laid out the new government’s key policy priorities, vowing to promote moderate Islam, fight bigotry, and strengthen inter-Maghreb ties. | Magharebia

JANUARY 23

Morocco’s Foreign Minister has begun a fence-mending trip to Algeria to resolve disputes like that of the Western Sahara. | Al-Arabiya

JANUARY 20

Moroccan activists have called for draft laws to criminalize the use of torture by some security officials. | Reuters

In his first media appearance, Morocco’s foreign minister emphasized the Kingdom’s priorities, among them the Arab Maghreb Union. He is also set to visit Algiers next week. | Magharebia; Daily Star

JANUARY 19

Five unemployed Moroccans have set themselves on fire in Rabat in demonstration over the lack of jobs. | Washington Post

JANUARY 18

The Benkirane government has embarked on a major anti-corruption campaign in Morocco. | Morocco News Agency

JANUARY 17

Amazigh activists have rallied in Rabat to call for an end to their community’s marginalization in Morocco. | Magharebia

JANUARY 13

Analysts and activists contend that the Moroccan king’s new “shadow government” will prevent real reform from touching the nation. | AP

JANUARY 12

Less than two months after assuming power, Prime Minister Benkirane is surprising opponents by moving to relax the country’s strict abortion laws. | New York Times

A Moroccan court is set to hand down a judgment in the assault case of a young Moroccan rapper known for his anti-monarchy lyrics; his lawyers claim the case is political. | AFP

JANUARY 11

At the first meeting of the newly appointed government, Prime Minister Benkirane promised to bridge the gap between the public and the administration. | Magharebia

JANUARY 9

Morocco’s state-run power utility has invited companies to submit expressions of interest in five wind farm projects with a total power generation capacity of 850 megawatts. | Reuters

JANUARY 6

Morocco’s Justice Minister has stated that he will seek royal pardons for critics of the establishment who rights activists say have been jailed unfairly. | Reuters

The Moroccan king has defended the presence of only one woman in the country’s new cabinet, stating that there was no intention to exclude women. | AFP

JANUARY 5

With the swearing in of the new Moroccan government, the “Charter of the Majority,” a contractual document that was signed last December and defines the principles of the country’s new democratic program, becomes a legal document with important implications for governance. | Morocco News Agency

JANUARY 4

The new Moroccan government will face many challenges, among them how to implement the provisions of the new Constitution. | Morocco News Agency

JANUARY 3

Morocco’s King has appointed the members of the new power-sharing cabinet. | Al-Arabiya

DECEMBER 19

The Islamist Justice and Charity group has decided to suspend their support for the country’s pro-democracy movement and weekly protests. | AP

The Moroccan Justice and Development Party has held a national council in which the nomination process for the country’s new ministers began. | Magharebia

DECEMBER 16

Morocco has introduced an action plan to integrate human rights principles into the Kingdom’s national policy to mark the 2011 UN Human Rights Day. | Magharebia

DECEMBER 15

In a controversial move, the Moroccan king has appointed his friend and classmate Fouad Ali El-Himma, founder of the Party for Authenticity and Modernity, as a royal adviser. | Magharebia

Morocco has condemned a decision by European lawmakers to scrap a fishing accord that earned the country more than $47 million a year. | Washington Post

DECEMBER 14

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has raised over 59 million euros for Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia. | Financial

DECEMBER 12

More than 82 percent of Moroccans have expressed confidence in Prime Minister-elect Benkirane’s ability to run the government. | AFP

Prime Minister-elect Benkirane has stated that his government will not impose a dress code on Moroccan women. | Reuters

With agreement from the Popular Movement Party and the Istiqlal Party, Prime Minister Benkirane of the PJD now enjoys a coalition which has 199 seats, one more than what is necessary for a majority. | Magharebia

DECEMBER 7

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, the Moroccan navy has rescued 53 people found stranded on a disabled vessel in the Mediterranean Sea; the boat was found a couple of miles off of the town of Dar Kebdani in Northern Morocco. | UPI

DECEMBER 6

Human Rights Watch has urged Moroccan authorities to annul the sentence against Rachid Nini for his writing about public officials and state institutions. | Now Lebanon

DECEMBER 5

Morocco’s Socialist Union of Popular Forces has decided not to take part in a government coalition led by the Justice and Development Party. | AFP

DECEMBER 2

In his first foreign policy comment, Morocco’s new Prime Minister Benkirane expressed shock at Syria’s response to its protest movement. | AFP

DECEMBER 1

Morocco’s newly appointed Prime Minister Benkirane has begun talks to form a coalition government following the PJD victory in last week’s elections. | AFP

At a press conference discussing Moroccan election results, PJD Secretary-General Benkirane promised to cut down the number of ministers and stated that the party would not touch Moroccan civil liberties and that it would work to reduce unemployment, among other things. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 30

The UAE has stated that there is not yet a consensus among the Gulf countries on admitting Morocco and Jordan to the GCC. | Reuters

Results of the Moroccan elections have emerged: Morocco’s Justice and Development Party secured 107 out of 395 seats, followed by Istiqlal with 60 seats; more than 45 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 29

Morocco’s King has named Abdelilah Benkirane, secretary-general of the Justice and Development Party, as the country’s new head of government. | Washington Post

NOVEMBER 21

Morocco’s Finance and Economy Minister has stated that a large Islamist victory is unlikely in his country, citing the country’s history of pluralism and democracy. | News 24

NOVEMBER 18

Morocco’s foreign minister has stated that his country wants to fully normalize relations with its neighbor Algeria. | News 24

As the date of Morocco’s elections nears, 30 political parties prepare to compete for a share of the 395 seats in the Chamber of Representatives. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 17

Morocco has withdrawn its ambassador from Syria, citing recent attacks on foreign embassies in Damascus. | AP

NOVEMBER 16

Moroccans voters will have a choice of 1,546 local candidate lists for the November 25th parliamentary elections; at the national level, the 1,710 candidates include 570 young people. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 15

Morocco’s Koutla Alliance is considering a partnership with the Justice and Development Party; the Koutla Alliance is now made up of the Istiqlal Party, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, and the Party of Progress and Socialism. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 14

Thousands of Moroccan pro-democracy activists are demonstrating to call for a boycott on the upcoming parliamentary elections. | AP

Official campaigning has started for the Moroccan November 25 elections. Experts predict that that Party for Justice and Development has a good chance of winning and that a low voter turnout is expected. | AFP

In Morocco, campaign financing guidelines have been set for the November 25 elections. Political parties are set to receive a total of 220 million dirhams from the state; the government has increased the amount that candidates can spend on their campaigns from 250,000 to 350,000 dirhams. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 9

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will send two delegations of election observers to Morocco for the November 25 parliamentary elections. | Magharebia

NOVEMBER 8

A number of MEP’s are standing against the renewal of a fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco, stating that the new agreement does not respect the rights of Western Sahara residents and represents a poor cost-benefit ratio. | FIS

NOVEMBER 4

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for North Africa has praised Morocco and Algeria for moving forward after the Arab Spring revolutions, but cautioned that the US expects promises of reforms to be delivered. | Daily Star

NOVEMBER 3

An estimated 3,000 protesters rallied in the southern port of Salalah following Friday prayers on April 22 in one of the largest demonstrations since scattered unrest broke out two months ago. Protesters gathered outside of the governor’s office to demand reforms, particularly anti-corruption measures. | Reuters

NOVEMBER 1

Morocco’s Coalition for Democracy, made up of eight political parties, has announced a roadmap for a modern, progressive society post-November 25 elections. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 31

A Moroccan court has convicted all of the defendants for their role in a Marrakesh café bombing which killed 17 people, most of them tourists; Adel Al-Othmani, the chief suspect, has been sentenced to death. | AP

OCTOBER 28

Morocco has begun to airlift wounded Libyan National Transition Council fighters to receive treatment in Morocco. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 27

According to diplomats, peace efforts between Morocco and the rebels of the Western Sahara have hit a deadlock with the UN Envoy unable to organize new talks between the rivals. | AFP

OCTOBER 26

Around 4,000 jobless graduates staged peaceful protests in Casablanca to demand public sector jobs. | Reuters Africa

OCTOBER 25

The United States has said that it is encouraging Morocco to quickly implement reforms in the country. | Reuters

A Moroccan appeal court has upheld the one-year jail sentence of newspaper editor Rachid Nini for criticizing the security service’s counter-terrorism campaign and what he labeled as the unfair trial of Islamists. | News 24

OCTOBER 24

Thousands of Moroccans have demonstrated in cities across the country, calling for a boycott of early parliamentary polls next month. | Reuters

Pakistan, Morocco, and Guatemala have been elected to the 15-nation UN Security Council for 2012 and 2013. | Reuters Africa

OCTOBER 21

The Moroccan government plans to have companies contribute to the new National Fund for Social Solidarity, but aims to exempt banking, telecom, cement and insurance firms in its budget bill for 2012. | Reuters

OCTOBER 20

Inflation in Morocco has fallen to an annual 0.8 percent in September, led by a sharp slowdown in food prices. | Reuters Africa

OCTOBER 19

The Moroccan Parliament has ratified a law to protect witnesses in cases of corruption, embezzlement, and the misappropriation of public funds; the law is meant to enable citizens to speak out against corruption without fear of retaliation. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 18

Moroccan youth have launched the Movement of Young Moroccans for Political Representation Now with an array of meetings and awareness campaigns to encourage youth to vote in the November 25 elections. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 17

Thousands of Moroccans are taking to the streets to express anger over police violence and to demand a more democratic constitution. | AP

An AP report explores the rising threat from freelance jihadism in Morocco, attacks led by lone terrorists inspired by Al-Qaeda to conduct copycat attacks. | Boston Globe

OCTOBER 13

With the Justice and Benevolence Movement joining leftists’ calls for an election boycott, protests in Morocco continue. | Hurriyet

OCTOBER 12

Islamist Justice and Benevolence Movement has called for a boycott of the November 25 parliamentary elections, claiming that the “process [is] based on lies and illusions.” | Ahram Online

Eight Moroccan parties have joined to create the new “Coalition for Democracy”; the groups include the National Rally of Independents, the Constitutional Union, the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, the Popular Movement, the Party of Renaissance and Virtue, the Labour Party, the Socialist Party, and the Green Left. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 11

Dozens of imams from various Moroccan mosques are protesting against tight controls over their preaching. | Washington Post

Moroccan politicians are planning to sign an ethics pledge developed by the Ministry of Interior to eliminate fraud and boost transparency. | Magharebia

Forty-six thousand imams across Morocco will receive a salary increase starting next year; the decision is meant to incorporate imams in the reform of religious life and lead to the curbing of extremist ideology. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 7

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is expanding its operations and will offer 100 million euros to a number of countries, including Morocco, in the next few weeks. | Magharebia
 

OCTOBER 6

The Algerian Foreign Minister stated that the continued closure of the Algerian-Moroccan border is a great loss for the Maghreb; he urged the re-opening of the frontier which has been closed since 1994. | Magharebia

Moroccan officials arrested a Casablanca citizen for allegedly planning assassinations and bomb attacks in the country; the suspect was allegedly in contact with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 5

The Moroccan Human Rights Association has recently created a website which serves as an online monitoring center for the Kingdom’s upcoming November 25th legislative elections. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 4

The Assembly of the Council of Europe has commended Morocco for its democratic achievements, among them the strengthening of the role of legislative institutions. | All Africa

OCTOBER 3

Moroccans have taken to the streets to demand greater political leeway and an end to corruption; the demonstrations were organized by the February 20 Movement. | Press TV

Moroccan police have dismantled a terror cell operating in Casablanca and Sale; the five involved suspects had pledged allegiance to Ayman Al-Zawahiri and been in contact with explosive experts, among them Adil Othmani. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 30

Eight men accused over the deadly bombing of a café in Marrakesh have all denied involvement in the attack; the blast killed 17, most of them foreign tourists. | BBC News

SEPTEMBER 29

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to arrive in Morocco to oversee the start of a new TGV high-speed rail link that will connect Casablanca with Rabat and Tangiers. | BBC News

SEPTEMBER 28

Morocco has announced its intent to apply for a 2012-2013 non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. | Magharebia

A security report from Mali warns that al-Qaeda is looking to develop a network in Morocco. | Middle East Online

SEPTEMBER 27

The death toll from clashes after a weekend soccer match in the Western Sahara has reached seven; in the past, clashes between Moroccan forces and the Western Sahara have also resulted in injuries and deaths. | Reuters

Morocco has renewed its support for the Palestinian bid for statehood; King Mohammed has announced that he will spare no effort to contribute to all initiatives aimed at achieving this goal. | All Africa

SEPTEMBER 26

Thousands of protestors took to the streets in Morocco to demand political reform, unappeased by steps that have already been taken to limit the powers of the king. | Al Arabiya

Moroccan police have dismantled the Al-Battar terror cell; according to authorities, the members of the cell had planned to join al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 23

The Moroccan foreign minister has stated that his country is ready to share its democratic reform experience with neighboring African and Arab states. | All Africa

SEPTEMBER 22

The trial of nine suspects accused of a bomb attack that killed seventeen people in Marrakesh has started; Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has denied responsibility for the bombing. | AFP

SEPTEMBER 21

The Moroccan government has adopted a 2012 draft appropriation bill, coinciding with the adoption of the new constitution. | All Africa

Moroccan politicians are meeting to discuss corruption, an issue that is resurfacing as a key issue for the country’s voters. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 20

The Moroccan rate of inflation has risen to 2.2 percent due to higher food and education costs. | Reuters Africa

SEPTEMBER 19

At least 3,000 people marched through Casablanca, chanting slogans about government corruption. | New York Times

The Moroccan prime minister has told his ministers that they need to curb government and public spending. | Magharebia

As the Moroccan parliamentary elections near, a number of political parties are forming alliances. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 16

A “Congressional Morocco Caucus” has been announced to deepen economic and strategic relations between Washington and Rabat. | All Africa

A recent proposal to grant more seats to women and youth in the Moroccan parliament has caused controversy. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 15

A Moroccan representative to the UN has announced his country’s recognition of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and adherence to its principles and objectives. | All Africa

SEPTEMBER 14

The U.S. State Department has highlighted Morocco’s efforts to “counter extremist ideology.” | All Africa

SEPTEMBER 13

Specialized panels have been set up to discuss the admission roadmap for Morocco into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 8

Morocco and Jordan are holding talks on possible accession to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). | Emirates 24/7

Moroccan handouts have been successful in quelling street protests, but the country now faces a difficult balancing act in rationalizing spending while boosting economic growth. | Reuters Africa

SEPTEMBER 7

Although diplomatic talks on the Western Sahara have brought little success, residents of the Sahara remain optimistic. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 6

A leaked American diplomatic cable has revealed that Morocco sought U.S. help in 2006 to open talks on the Western Sahara with the Polisario Front independence movement. | News 24

Last week, Morocco passed a bill to reform criminal proceedings, facilitating access to justice and ensuring transparency in court judgments. | Magharebia

AUGUST 31

An independent UN expert will visit Morocco to assess the country’s efforts to promote and protect cultural rights. | All Africa

King Mohammed VI of Morocco has pardoned 372 convicts on the occasion of Eid. | All Africa

AUGUST 30

According to economic analysts, the Moroccan 2012 budget will be a “crisis budget.” | Albawaba

The Moroccan government has expressed its astonishment at certain parties and people who are calling into question the honesty and credibility of the upcoming elections. | All Africa

AUGUST 29

A U.S. State Department report has determined that Morocco has succeeded in marginalizing insurgency cells in the country. | World Tribune

Young political activists in Morocco have created the “Moroccan Youth Movement for Political Representation Now,” in order to press for reform. | Magharebia

AUGUST 26

Hundreds of Western Sahara separatists were arrested in Libya following battles against the Qaddafi regime. | Morocco Board News Service

AUGUST 25

Algeria has announced that it will export hundreds of millions of cubic meters of gas to neighboring Morocco. | World Tribune

AUGUST 24

The staff of the Libyan Embassy in Rabat has officially announced that they will join the National Transition Council. | All Africa

AUGUST 23

Morocco has confirmed its recognition of the National Transition Council (NTC) as the sole representative of the Libyan people. | All Africa

AUGUST 22

In a report on world terrorism, the State Department recognized that Moroccan authorities’ counter-terrorism efforts have effectively reduced the threat of terror in the nation. | All Africa

AUGUST 19

Morocco’s inflation jumped to 1.8 percent in July from a year earlier; consumer food prices also rose 3.1 percent in July from a year earlier. | Reuters

AUGUST 18

The President of the Sahrawi Republic has called on the African Union to impose sanctions on Morocco in order to pressure the government to halt its human rights abuses. | Sahara Press Service

AUGUST 17

Due to higher spending on energy imports, Morocco’s trade deficit jumped 21 percent in the period between January and July from a year ago, to a record 106.4 billion dirhams. | Reuters Africa

AUGUST 16

Morocco has finalized November 25th to be the date for the upcoming parliamentary elections. | Reuters Africa

AUGUST 15

Morocco’s government has proposed that parliamentary elections take place in November of this year instead of next year’s scheduled September date. | Reuters Africa

AUGUST 11

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry has expressed deep concern over Syria’s brutal crackdown on anti-regime protestors. | Zawya

AUGUST 10

Members of Congress and the State Department congratulated Morocco on its new constitution. | Morocco Board News Service

AUGUST 9

The head of the EU Delegation to Morocco has said that the country is not undergoing a revolution, but rather, an “evolution towards greater democracy.” | Maghreb Arab Presse

AUGUST 8

Moroccan demonstrators and policemen were wounded in Safi during clashes over poor economic conditions in the country. | Magharebia

AUGUST 5

The trial of 27 Moroccans accused of planning terrorist attacks has opened at the Sale anti-terrorism court and been adjourned to September. | Times Live

Morocco received the first delivery of 24 F-16 jets on Thursday as part of its air force modernization plan. Another seven planes are scheduled to be delivered at the beginning of 2012 and thirteen others in the following months. | AFP

AUGUST 3

The Economic and Social Council (ESC) issued a report on youth unemployment stating that young graduates with vocational training degrees are among the largest group of unemployed Moroccans. The report, which is based on 44 meetings, called for an employment and training observatory tasked with setting up networks to implement reforms to promote self-employment and new businesses as well as improving the governance of the labor market. | Magharebia

The Moroccan government is mobilized to immediately implement the provisions of the new constitution, said government spokesperson Khalid Naciri. | AllAfrica

JULY 28

The Economic and Social Council (ESC) issued a report on youth unemployment stating that young graduates with vocational training degrees are among the largest group of unemployed Moroccans. The report, which is based on 44 meetings, called for an employment and training observatory tasked with setting up networks to implement reforms to promote self-employment and new businesses as well as improving the governance of the labor market. | Magharebia

JULY 25

Thousands of people protested in several Moroccan cities, including the capital of Rabat on Sunday, calling for “persistent struggle for change.” Demonstrators included February 20 Movement activists and members of the banned Justice and Charity organization. Counter- protests also took place to endorse the monarchy and the recent constitutional reforms. | Al Jazeera

JULY 19

The Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH) called for the royal palace to stop intervening in security issues and the judiciary, and urged the king to apologize for past human rights abuses and hold those who violated rights accountable. The chairman of AMDH warned against repeating “previous failed bids.” | Reuters

JULY 18

Thousands of people rallied both in support of and against the recent constitutional amendments. The largest number of opponents turned out in Tangier, where 12,000 demonstrators marched to pressure the king to implement more reforms. Protesters also disputed the overwhelming majority of “yes” votes on the referendum. | Reuters

JULY 15

Protesters ended their strike and blockade on a railway used to transport phosphate after a pledge by the phosphate monopoly (OCP) to reconsider jobs. Security officers used water cannons and teargas to disperse demonstrators last week. | Reuters

JULY 13

The Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH) called for a judicial investigation into violations that impacted the results of the constitutional referendum on July 1. The organization alleged that it had “material evidence” that violations took place as international observers were absent from the vote and called into question the credibility of the vote. | Reuters

JULY 11

Human Rights Watch said constitutional revisions in Morocco have the potential to significantly advance rights, but previous guarantees have not been respected. The organization documented several cases of police violence against protesters and other abuses since protests began in February. | Human Rights Watch

JULY 10

Thousands of Moroccans staged protests on Sunday to demand reforms that go beyond constitutional changes crafted by the palace | Reuters

JULY 5

The referendum on constitutional amendments was approved by more than 98 percent of the voters. Turnout was estimated at 72.65 percent. The vote was internationally welcomed by the United States and Europe, but thousands of people continued to protest in spite of its overwhelming support. | AFP; Washington Post

JULY 1

Polls opened for the constitutional referendum, which the king proposed to ensure greater freedoms and separation of powers. Opponents continued to assert that the new draft allows the king to retain full control, but early indicators suggest that the new constitution will be passed in a “resounding ‘yes’ vote.” | Washington Post

Morocco’s GDP grew from 2 percent in the previous three months to reach 4.9 percent in the first quarter. Ten percent of Morocco’s GDP comes from tourism. | Bloomberg

JUNE 30

Moroccans were urged on the last day of campaigning for constitutional reforms to vote in the referendum scheduled for tomorrow. Analysts said that the “yes” side has dominated the campaign on the referendum, while the February 20 Movement remains the biggest opponent of it. Thirteen million people are expected to vote, and 520 ballot boxes will be available throughout the consulates abroad. | AFP; France 24

The trial against the perpetrators of the terrorist attack, Adel Othmani and four other people, on a café in Marrakesh was adjourned until August 18. | Reuters

JUNE 29

Political forces close to the February 20 youth movement formed a coalition with three leftist parties, two banned Islamist parties, and other political forces not represented in parliament calling for a “Parliamentary Monarchy.” They criticized the new proposed constitution as a way to solidify authoritarianism in the country. | Elaph

JUNE 27

Thousands of people marched both for and against the new constitutional proposals in Casablanca and Rabat. Some pro-government supporters clashed with pro-democracy February 20 Movement protesters and attacked them with rocks before the riot police cleared the area. Riot police and pro-government supporters also blocked nearly 2,000 pro-democracy protesters in Rabat. | AP

JUNE 22

The February 20 Movement called for a boycott of the constitutional referendum set for July 1. The pro-reform youth movement also called for peaceful protests in various cities on Sunday. Most political parties have endorsed the constitutional changes, with the exception of three leftist parties. | AFP

JUNE 21

The campaign for the constitutional referendum kicked off today and will end June 30 with several civil society and political organizations holding open meetings and conferences to debate the proposed amendments. The Islamist Justice and Development Party, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), and the conservative Istiqlal Party all urged their supporters to vote “yes” on the referendum. The February 20 Movement initially rejected the draft, but later said it has yet to announce its position. | Asharq al-Awsat; Middle East Online; AFP

JUNE 20

Nearly 10,000 demonstrators turned out to protest the king’s proposed constitutional amendments in Casablanca. Members of the February 20 Youth Movement and the Islamist Justice and Charity group said that the king’s reforms do not go far enough. Clashes broke out between supporters of the king and pro-democracy protesters. | AFP; Washington Post

Members of the Istiqlal (Independence) Party criticized the February 20 Youth Movement, accusing it of being a wing of opposition parties and political forces seeking to sabotage the reform process by placing pressure on the regime. Istiqlal is a conservative, pro-monarchy party of which Prime Minister Abbas al-Fassi is a member. | Asharq al-Awsat

JUNE 17

A senior executive of the Massae Group Media that published al-Massae newspaper was assaulted and is in critical condition. The paper’s editor, Rachid Niny, was recently jailed for criticizing the intelligence agency. | Morocco Board News

JUNE 15

The budget deficit will be higher than its forecasted 4.5 to 5 percent of the GDP as the state increased subsidies and salaries amid pressures stemming from demonstrations and strikes.| Reuters

JUNE 14

King Mohammed VI praised the draft of the amended constitution. Confirmed changes have included granting greater powers to the prime minister. Other changes include lowering the threshold to form inquiry commissions by one-fifth, and presenting a censure motion by one-third rather than an absolute majority. The Supreme Council of Magistracy will also include officials, like the National Council of Human Rights (CNDH) chief, in addition to magistrates. | Magharebia

The editor of al-Massae, Rachid Niny, who was sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing the intelligence agency, is now on a hunger strike to protest his harsh treatment in prison. | Morocco Board News

JUNE 13

Nearly 7,000 protestors of the February 20 Movement turned out in Casablanca to demand political reform. The protest took place two days after the king received the program for political reform, which includes constitutional change, and parties are waiting to receive the draft of the amendments to the constitution. | Elaph; Ash-shorouk

The publisher of al-Massae, Rachid Niny, was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “disinformation” after criticizing the intelligence agency and calling for parliamentary oversight of it. Niny, who is one of the most controversial Moroccan journalists, was arrested last month. | CNN

JUNE 10

The new draft of the constitution allegedly changed Chapter 19 of the constitution, which defines the king’s jurisdiction in both religious and military spheres. The king will keep his religious status as “the prince of the faithful” and also the supreme commander of Royal Armed Forces. The prime minister will be renamed as the “head of the government” and will have the power to dissolve government. | Morocco Board News

JUNE 9

The state launched an online forum to discuss constitutional reform. The website has generated nearly 470,000 votes and 10,000 comments. Most notably, the majority of visitors expressed opposition to articles pertaining to the sanctity of the king, as well as his power to appoint the prime minister, preside over cabinet meetings, dissolve the two houses of parliament, deliver addresses to the nation and parliament, and head the Supreme Council of Magistracy. | Morocco Board News

JUNE 8

The banned but tolerated Justice and Charity movement denied allegations by the government that it was using the pro-reform movement to install a religious state. One of its leaders, Nadia Yassine, reiterated the movement’s support for a civil state. | Middle East Online

The government ratified the Optional Protocols to the UN Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This protocol will involve independent and international bodies to monitor human rights abuses and forms of discrimination. Activists praised this move, but other human rights groups like the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) called for additional mechanisms to be put in place to stop the ongoing torture practices in the country. | Magharebia

JUNE 7

The constitutional referendum, which is scheduled for July 1, will include seven new measures: shifting the executive power from the king to the prime minister; shifting power from the king to electors; providing parliament with new powers; guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary; shifting resources to regional councils; promoting the participation of women in the parliament and local councils; and expanding personal freedoms, including explicitly recognizing the Amazigh identity. Early parliamentary elections will be held on October 7.  | Los Angeles Times

The Moroccan Alternative Forum (FMAS), which includes more than 1,000 civil society organizations, launched to form a unified stance ahead of the constitutional referendum next month. FMAS is organizing seventeen forums in seventeen regions. It will also hold provincial forums to discuss the draft report and a consultative committee to issue recommendations for public debate on reform. | Magharebia

JUNE 6

Thousands turned out at a protest on June 5 calling for political reform and denouncing the killing of protestor Kamal Amari by the riot police. Protest organizers vowed to continue demonstrations with another protest planned for next weekend. There were no instances of violence during Sunday’s protest and the riot police were markedly absent. | Reuters

JUNE 3

Islamist opposition group Al Adl wal Ihsane (Justice and Charity) and February 20 Movement  accused the government of killing a man who sustained injuries during demonstrations, but the government denied his death was related to the protests. | Reuters

JUNE 2

The February 20 Youth Movement is planning to hold its next protest on June 5, two weeks before the advisory committee is scheduled to provide proposals for constitutional reform. Several political parties, nongovernmental organizations, and labor unions will participate in the protest. | Morocco Board News

JUNE 1

Morocco will hold early parliamentary elections on October 7, 2011, instead of the original September 2012 date. The referendum on the new constitution will be held three months prior to the elections. | Magharebia

MAY 31

The February 20 Youth Movement staged a protest in Casablanca that was met with police violence. Organizers claimed that nearly 15,000 demonstrators were present. | CNN

MAY 26

The dissolved party al-Badeel al-Hadari plans to hold its first congress since its dissolution in an effort to prepare for the prospect of early elections in October. The party’s secretary general, Mustafa al-Mu’tassim, was recently released from prison. | Elaph

MAY 25

Police used force to break up a protest by 8,000 doctors in Rabat, who gathered in front of the Health Ministry to demand better work conditions. | Bloomberg

The Moroccan communications minister accused Islamists and leftists of spreading unrest in the country under the guise of democracy. | Gulf Today 

MAY 23

Police used batons to beat and arrest protesters during a planned demonstration on Sunday. Protestors had planned to camp out in front of parliament in Rabat, and chanted against despotism and corruption. | Al Jazeera

MAY 17

Clashes broke out between security forces and Salafist prisoners in a jail in Sale, near Rabat. The Salafists were protesting their conditions of detention. | AFP

The leader of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and former Interior Minister Fouad Aali el-Himma resigned from the chairmanship of the Electoral Commission. Protesters have called for the resignation of many PAM figures and the dissolution of the party. Aali was known to be a close confidant of the king. | Al Jazeera

MAY 16

Riot police thwarted planned demonstrations in southern Rabat in front of an alleged secret government detention center. In response, members of parliament backed a parliamentary probe into the detention center. | Middle East Online; Reuters 

The Moroccan foreign minister welcomed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s willingness to consider Morocco’s application to join the group. The minister also reiterated his commitment to the sovereignty of the Arab Gulf countries against Iran’s meddling and pointed out that Morocco had cut all ties with Tehran two years ago. | Gulf Times

Education Minister Ahmed Akhchichine announced that  unions and the government had drafted an agreement guaranteeing public school teachers access to higher positions and promotions without competition from public workers. | Magharebia

MAY 13

Youth and Sports Minister Moncef Belkhayat announced that the country will host a series of youth meetings to meet the demands of young activists and involve them in the reform process. The first meeting will be held May 23-24, with over 700 youths and 40 groups participating. Topics will include education, health, social problems, employment, religion, and citizenship. | Magharebia

MAY 11

Thousands marched on May 9 to demand reform and oppose militancy that led to the bombing in the Marrakech café. | Gibraltar Chronicle

MAY 2

The publisher of al-Massae, Rashid Nini, was arrested last week by the National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) for publishing articles on the director of the Internal Security Apparatus (DST), Abdellatif Hammouchi. The articles implicated Hammouchi in corruption cases involving the head of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (WFP), which is affiliated with the king. | Assabah

MAY 1

Thousands of people marched through the streets on Labor Day as trade unions participated for the first time since February 20 in protests to call for reform. | Reuters

The government reached an agreement with unions to the raise minimum wage and increase public-sector salaries and the minimum monthly pension. | Magharebia

End of document
 
Source http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/04/28/news-from-morocco/1rb6

In Fact

 

45%

of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.

30%

of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.

140

charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.

2.5–5

thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.

92%

of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.

$2.34

trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.

37%

of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.

72%

of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.

90%

of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.

13%

of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.

17

U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.

40%

of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.

120

million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.

60–70%

of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.

58%

of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.

67%

of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.

50%

of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.

18%

of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.

81%

of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.

32

million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3

Syrians

now needs urgent assistance.

370

political parties

contested India’s last national elections.

70%

of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.

70%

of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.

20%

of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.

58%

of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.

$536

billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.

$100

billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.

4700%

increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.

$11

billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.

2%

of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.

78

journalists

were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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