Moroccan king pardons prisoners

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 9:22 AM
Moroccan king pardons prisoners

Morocco's Justice Ministry says the king has granted pardons or lightened sentences for 190 prisoners in response to a request from an official human rights body.

King Mohammed VI took the step as this country is seeing small-scale but regular protests by activists demanding greater democratic freedoms, amid demonstrations around the Arab world.

The ministry said in a statement carried by the MAP news agency that the king's decision meant 190 people had their sentences commuted, had death penalties converted to limited prison terms, or had prison terms reduced. The statement did not say what they were convicted for.

Independent activists have said suspects detained under Morocco's counterterrorism laws are routinely subjected to human rights violations.