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Judicial ruling denies advocacy group Coalition 490 from obtaining legal recognition

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A judicial ruling pronounced by the Administrative Court of Appeals in Casablanca, has denied Coalition 490, known for its Outlawed Campaign, from obtaining the legal receipt deposit that would enable it to carry out its advocacy activities in a legal manner.

The court said the submission lacked the required receipt for depositing the association meeting declaration, which the local authority should have issued, or a request for the meeting’s permit. This constitutes a violation of the specified legal procedures.

The administrative appeal ruling upheld the initial verdict, stating that the request was “not based on a legal foundation.”

“We have not been able to obtain this legal recognition without any explanation from the concerned authorities,” said Coalition 490 in a statement released on its Official Instagram account.

The lack of a deposit receipt, according to the same source, hampered their activities and the financial management of their association.

“This judicial decision has shocked and saddened us, especially since we had high hopes of resolving the illegal situation in which we found ourselves,” added Coalition 490.

Since the association’s inception, they have engaged in a variety of activities, primarily through awareness campaigns and work with victims of harassment and violence against women. However, the current situation places them in a vulnerable position, limiting the effectiveness of their initiatives, as highlighted by the same source.

“The association has respected all the required conditions and formal procedures outlined in the decree for the establishment of associations,” said Karima Rouchdi, a member of Coalition 490, in a statement to Hespress Ar.

Yet, the association was denied from obtaining the temporary or final receipt, said Rouchdi, stressing this decision would hamper their activities.

“There is currently no discussion at the organizational level about exploring a new framework. However, our commitment to defending human beings and their freedom and rights will not render us helpless,” the Coalition 490 member emphasized.

She expressed disappointment that over 3 thousand signatures gathered once with great effort had become ineffective due to the lack of official recognition of the organization as a civil space to fulfill its role.

“The movement’s accounts will continue to share our perspectives and will be present on social media platforms, as we believe in the importance of continuing to educate, raise awareness, mobilize, and defend the right to dissent and freedoms in all their forms,” stressed Rouchdi.

She went on to say that the association could not operate illegally because the judicial ruling was decisive and that defending freedoms should be institutionalized to be more effective.

“The coalition was received by the Ministry of Justice and now there is a foundation and a platform from which to launch new perspective and methods for human rights civil action, which should clearly and boldly advocate for universal human rights,” noted the Coalition 490 member.

It is worth mentioning that the Moroccan “Outlawed” movement has sparked controversy since its inception in September 2019, following the collection of electronic signatures on a petition calling for decriminalizing individual liberties, specifically Article 490 of the Moroccan Penal Code.

The movement began collecting physical signatures under the slogan “No to Imprisonment” to comply with the law in November 2022.

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