Ministry of Justice calls for support of terrorism victims

Ministry of Justice calls for support of terrorism victims

In the latest issue of the Criminal Affairs Magazine, published by the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons and Crime Monitoring, The Ministry of Justice emphasized the need to assist and stand by victims of terrorism, addressing their concerns and strengthening their resilience.

This call coincided with the observance of the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism.

Justice Minister Abdellatif Ouhabi explained that recent developments in the Criminal Procedure Law have paved the way to include terrorism victims in legal proceedings. 

It is now obligatory to keep them informed about the legal steps and to offer them a chance to speak to the investigating judge.

Ouhabi stressed the enhancement of social services to support terrorism victims. This has included strengthening the roles of assistants and social workers, particularly in aspects such as reception, guidance, and psychological support.

The minister underscored the importance of aligning both national and international criminal policies to promote global solidarity in aiding terrorism victims. 

This involves recognizing their memories, safeguarding their rights to compensation, ensuring their privacy and dignity, and strengthening the roles of civil society groups dedicated to defending the rights of terrorism victims. 

Responding positively to compensation requests from victims of terrorist incidents, two approaches have been taken by the state. 

A dedicated financial grant from the state’s general budget was provided to deserving victims of the tragic events that unfolded in Casablanca on May 16, 2003.

Compensation was extended to the victims of the terrorist operation that targeted the Argana café in Marrakech in 2011. 

Hisham Mallati, Director of Criminal Affairs and Pardons and Crime Monitoring at the Ministry of Justice, underscored that these victims, who endure the aftermath of terrorism, are an integral part of the response to terrorism threats, alongside law enforcement agencies. 

Mallati detailed four essential tiers of support and assistance for these victims. This includes recognizing their status in criminal proceedings, respecting their demands, ensuring their safety, and providing prompt and equitable compensation.

Mallati stressed that compensation offers tangible material support to the victims and their rightful beneficiaries, while also providing crucial psychological and social aid. 

In 2016, Morocco established a comprehensive legal framework for compensating terrorism victims, driven by the nation’s experience with various terrorist incidents over the past three decades. 

The first of these incidents occurred in 1994, targeting the Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrakech. Subsequent events, including the 2003 occurrences in Casablanca, witnessed more acts of terrorism. Marrakech also faced the tragic Argana café bombings in 2011, along with the 2018 attack on Scandinavian tourists in the Imil region near Marrakech.

Terrorism victims possess the legal right to initiate legal action to claim compensation for the damages they have endured. 

This process can take the form of civil lawsuits connected to public claims and be presented before the Court of Appeal in Rabat, the designated judicial body responsible for terrorism cases. 

Victims can also seek recourse through associations with a general public interest.

Abdul Aziz Raji, the Attorney General of the King at the Court of Appeal in Rabat, called for the establishment of a national institution dedicated to accompanying terrorism victims and their families. 

This body would play a crucial role in aiding their reintegration into society and facilitating their swift return to normalcy. Cooperation with civil society organizations dedicated to the welfare of terrorism victims would be pivotal in this endeavor.


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