Moroccan Court of Cassation upholds judgment depriving rights defender Mhamed Hali of right to join Agadir Bar Association

On 27 June 2024, the Moroccan Court of Cassation upheld the judgment depriving human rights defender Mhamed Hali from his right to join the Bar Association, which was previously issued by Agadir Bar Association. This decision came as a result of Mhamed Hali’s opinions in support of the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

Mhamed Hali is a dedicated human rights defender and a member of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH). He holds a doctorate in international humanitarian law and currently serves as the Secretory General for the Association for the Protection of Saharan Prisoners in Moroccan Prisons (LPPS).

In October 2019, Mhamed Hali applied for membership in the Agadir Bar Association after fulfilling all requirements in accordance with Moroccan law No. 28.08, which governs admissibility to the bar. However, on 13 February 2020, the Agadir Bar rejected his application based on an investigation conducted under Article 11 of law No. 28.08, which examines the ethical conduct of an applicant. The investigation concluded that “he is not a person fit to practice because he is a member of an organization (ASVDH) that denies Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara” and that “the concerned candidate is well known for his separatist and anti-territorial integrity attitudes”.

However, Mhamed Hali has fulfilled all legal conditions to join the Bar Association, as regulated by Law No. 28.08.

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