On the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty, organized since 2003 on October 10 of each year, an exhibition bringing together the works of thirteen Moroccan plastic artists and entitled: The right to live will be inaugurated on Saturday, October 9 at the MACMA (Museum of Marrakech Art and Culture) and will be open to the public until February 2022.
On the same day, a work bearing the same title and published at La Croisée des paths will be presented to the public at the Maison Denise Masson in Marrakech; In addition to the reproductions of the works presented in the exhibition, this book reproduces the original texts of thirty-seven Moroccan writers and intellectuals defending the abolition of this inhuman punishment.
This book will be presented on Saturday, October 9 at a round table where personalities and the main national and international abolitionist associations will speak, followed by a conference by the philosopher Ali Benmakhlouf. Other activities are planned for the following months.
This exhibition and this book are the result of a citizens’ initiative launched by Driss El Yazami, Younès Ajarraï and Mahi Binebine who, convinced that the death penalty is inhuman, unjust and ineffective, wanted to strengthen the abolitionist dynamic in our country by appealing to intellectuals and plastic artists, thus betting on culture as a means of broadening the mobilization for abolition.
This citizens’ initiative takes place in a national environment marked by several paradoxes. Since 1993, Morocco has complied with a de facto moratorium on the death penalty and has not experienced any more execution. But every year in December, when the United Nations General Assembly votes on a resolution asking all states to respect a moratorium on executions, Morocco has always abstained.
However, the abolitionist movement has strengthened in the country in recent years with the creation of a Moroccan Coalition against the Death Penalty, then networks of parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists and teachers. When it was created, the network of parliamentarians had up to 204 elected representatives (out of 515 parliamentarians) from almost all political parties.
In 2011, article 20 of the Constitution proclaimed that “The right to life is the first right of every human being. The law protects this right. “And, in 2014, King Mohammed VI encouraged the public debate on abolition during his address to the World Forum on Human Rights held in Marrakech:” We welcome the debate around the death penalty, carried out at the initiative of civil society and numerous parliamentarians and jurists. It will allow the maturation and the deepening of this problem. “
The opening of the exhibition, the launch of the book and the debates on October 9 are part of the program of global activities organized by the coalition Together against the death penalty and benefit from the support of the Ajial Foundation which carries these events, of Wallonia- International Brussels and the Wallonia-Brussels delegation in Morocco, the French Institute in Marrakech, the Maison Denise Masson, the Es Saâdi Marrakech Resort and the Marrakech Museum of Art and Culture.