Despite having ratified the core international human rights treaties, a number of Morocco’s laws and policies continue to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms. Such laws and policies predominantly relate to issues considered politically sensitive, such as counter-terrorism and state security. The anti-terrorism legislation adopted in the aftermath of the Casablanca bombings of May 2003 – which broadly defines terrorism and lowers legal safeguards – remains in force.
Other politically sensitive issues include the status of Western Sahara and the monarchical system of governance. Journalists and activists remain at risk of being charged and prosecuted for "insulting the king" or "undermining territorial integrity" for comments made on such issues. Although the Press Code no longer contains prison terms for press offences, the Penal Code continues to criminalise a range of non-violent offences related to free speech.
The excessive use of force by police and security agents to disperse protests critical of the government or those demanding improvements in socio-economic conditions in impoverished regions are of increasing concern. Activists involved in organising marches or demonstrations face abuse and unfair trials