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French judges oppose agreement with Morocco over human rights violations

French judges have called on parliament to oppose an agreement which the government intends to sign with Morocco over the trial of those involved in human rights violations. The issue has arisen ever since French police arrested Morocco's chief of the secret police, Abdul Latif Hammouchi, in February last year when his name was mentioned in a case where a French citizen of Moroccan origin was allegedly tortured.

At the time, the Moroccan government in Rabat responded by freezing judicial cooperation with France and relations were cold until January this year, when a new judicial agreement was made on the exchange of information in cases filed against officials in Morocco or France. The French government has referred the agreement to parliament for consideration.

The Judges Union said in a statement that the agreement in question contradicts the rights of litigants and victims, putting victims and witnesses at risk because it exposes their identities to the Moroccan authorities. According to the judges, with the signing of this agreement, France will violate other international agreements, including its commitment to prosecute those who commit human rights abuses outside French territory.

In appealing to the French legislature to oppose the agreement with Morocco, the judges join international organisations such as Amnesty International and the Christian Association against Torture in condemning the proposed deal.

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