Morocco. During the year, the Moroccan security police
made numerous attacks against terror cells and recruiters to
the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in Morocco and
In January, eight suspected IS recruits were arrested who
must have been part of an active cell in central Morocco.
COUNTRYAAH, the following month, the state prosecutor in Morocco
announced that the number of suspected jihadists brought to
trial in 2014 had more than doubled compared to the previous
year. There were a total of 147 terror-related targets,
compared with 64 in 2013. The increase, according to the
prosecutor, was due to the unrest in the Sahel as well as in
Syria and Iraq. It is estimated that more than 2,000
Moroccans have gone to Syria and Iraq, where IS controls a
During the year, refugee flows also increased through
Morocco. As the security situation in Libya worsened, many,
especially Syrians, chose to flee to Europe via Morocco.
From the border barriers to the Spanish enclaves Melilla and
Ceuta, where asylum offices were opened, the human rights
organization Amnesty International reported that violence
erupted when migrants trying to cross the fences were
stopped by Moroccan security forces and police.
In March, Morocco took part in Saudi-led air strikes
against Shiite Muslim hijir bells in Yemen. Morocco, which
is closely allied with Saudi Arabia, was one of ten
countries participating in the air strikes. In recent years,
the authorities have persecuted and harassed Shia Muslims
even in Morocco, which it is believed to be linked to
Morocco's poor relations with Shia Muslim Iran.
In April, Spanish judge Pablo Ruz ruled that eleven
Moroccan former governors and senior security forces
decision-makers were still suspected of severe abuses in
Western Sahara between 1975 and 1991. Morocco has controlled
most of Western Sahara since 1975. Ruz urged Morocco to
seize and extradite seven of the designated and demanded
that the other four be located and suspected.
Following major public protests in May, Morocco's King
Muhammad VI ordered the abortion law to be amended to allow
women to perform abortions after rape and in serious harm to
the fetus. It is estimated that over 500 illegal abortions
are carried out in Morocco every day.
In September, municipal and regional elections were held.
In the regional elections, the ruling Islamist Justice and
Development Party (PJD) was the largest with 25.6% of the
vote, followed by the regime-friendly Party for Authenticity
and Modernity (PAM), which received 19.4%. In the municipal
elections, PAM was the largest with 21.1% of the vote. The
Conservative Independence Party (Istiqlal) gained 16.2% and
PJD 15.9%. The elections were assumed to give a clue to next
year's national elections.
The same month, Sweden's Interior Minister Anders Ygeman
called on Morocco's envoy in Sweden to invoke Morocco's
obligation to take responsibility for the unaccompanied
refugee children from Morocco seeking asylum in Sweden.
Since 2012, 1,100 Moroccan boys have sought asylum and most
have been rejected, but because Morocco has questioned their
citizenship, they cannot be returned. The boys lack a
passport and, according to Morocco, may as well come from
any other country.
In October, the Moroccan government launched a boycott
against all Swedish companies because of the Swedish line in
the Western Sahara conflict. In response to what was called
in Sweden's campaign against Moroccan interests, among other
things, the opening of furniture giant IKEA's first
department store in the capital Rabat was stopped. At the
Moroccan Embassy in Stockholm, it became clear that the
problems with the unifying young Moroccans were less than a
possible Swedish recognition of Western Sahara. Foreign
Minister Margot Wallström told TT News Agency that the issue
of Sweden's Western Sahara policy was subject to an internal
review and that the government did not want to "anticipate
In November, Moroccan security forces unveiled a
suspected terrorist cell with alleged links to the terrorist
organization IS. According to a statement, the cell appeared
in the cities of Fès, Casablanca and Ouled Taima. It was the
third arrest of people linked to IS in November, following
the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13.
In December, the European Court of Justice annulled a
2012 trade agreement on the export of agricultural and
fishery products from Morocco to the EU. The European Court
of Justice considered that the agreement must be revoked
because it also covers the natural resources of Western
Sahara, without the country's approval. The judgment was
appealed by the EU countries. In Sweden, Foreign Minister
Margot Wallström was criticized for being paradoxical when
she sought support from the Riksdag's EU committee for not
opposing the appeal.