In Celebrating the 78th anniversary of its Independence Manifesto, King Mohammed VI has ordered a royal pardon for 637 convicts.
Morocco officially gained independence from France in March 1956. Over a decade earlier, on January 11, 1944, 66 Moroccan nationalist leaders convened under the aegis of Sultan Mohammed V, King Mohammed VI’s grandfather, to sign a document calling for the decolonization of Morocco.
The defiant text became known as the “Independence Manifesto,” and many historians of Moroccan decolonization from France credit it with paving the way for more organized action against the French Protectorate.
In a press release issued by Morocco’s Ministry of Justice, it announced that the list of beneficiaries of the royal pardon includes convicts in detention and provisional release.
The list covers 500 detainees and 137 convicts with a provisional release.
Of the 500 detainees, 22 inmates received sentence cancellation and 473 prisoners benefitted from sentence reduction.
In addition, King Mohammed VI granted clemency to 5 prisoners currently serving life sentences. The royal pardon means they will now serve fixed sentences.
Of the 137 convicts in provisional release, the royal pardon completely canceled the sentences of 52 people, fine payment for 77 people, and both the fine payment and prison sentences for 3 individuals. However, 5 convicts were exonerated from prison time but still required to pay their fines.
King Mohammed VI traditionally offers a royal pardon to hundreds of convicts on the occasion of a religious or national holiday. In October 2021, the Ministry of Justice announced the royal pardon for 510 convicts on the eve of Al Mawlid Nabawi, a religious holiday.