| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Morocco’s King pardons 29 jailed for ‘terrorism or extremism’ offenses

In a gesture celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Morocco’s king pardoned 29 people imprisoned for “terrorism or extremism” offenses, according to the justice ministry.

According to a statement released late Sunday by the justice ministry, the 29 detainees were pardoned “after having publicly acknowledged their loyalty to the… sacredness of the nation and national institutions, altered their ideological orientations, and repudiated extremism and terrorism.”

Of those pardoned, 23 will be freed while the remaining six will have their sentences reduced.

The 29 are part of a total of 958 people sentenced by various courts across the country that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI pardoned to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan.

In 2017, the North African nation launched a reintegration program called “Moussalaha,” or “Reconciliation,” in its prisons, targeting inmates convicted of “terrorism” who were willing to question their beliefs.

Since 2022, the security services have dismantled more than 2,000 extremist cells and made over 3,500 arrests linked to terrorism, according to official figures.

The country has largely been spared terrorist attacks since 2003, when five suicide attacks killed 33 people and wounded scores more in the economic capital Casablanca.

But in 2018, two Scandinavian tourists were murdered by militants linked to ISIS group during a hiking trip in the High Atlas mountains.

  • AFP