Skip to main content

Morocco: Students

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps he plans to take in response to the decision by the government of Morocco to prevent Saharan students from attending a peace-building conference in Oxford in August 2009. (290916)

Following news of the events in Agadir, our Chargé d’Affairs in Rabat raised our concerns with the Secretaire Generale, head of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He stressed that it was particularly disappointing considering Morocco's otherwise good record of allowing attendance at these types of events. We made it clear the Government were extremely concerned by reports of the use of disproportionate force against the participants on their return home to Layounne. The Sécretaire Générale undertook to look into the matter.

We have continued to press for an answer and make our concerns known. This has included close co-ordination with the Swedish EU presidency in Morocco and local human rights non-governmental organisations over this matter. I can assure you that our officials in Rabat and London will continue to press the Moroccan authorities for further clarification of the allegations of mistreatment.