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Human Rights Watch faults Moroccan justice system for reliance on coerced confessions

Human Rights Watch says in a new report that Morocco's justice system overly relies on coerced confessions and needs serious reform.

The report issued Friday describes cases involving 77 suspects which the group said did not follow international norms of due process, including prompt trials and access to lawyers. The suspects included people accused of terrorism plots, activists in the disputed territory of Western Sarah and protesters seeking reform.

Morocco's judicial system has long been criticized. The Islamist-led government promised reforms last year but no details have been disclosed.

In the report, the Moroccan government said it "provides all internationally recognized guarantees" for a fair trial.

The report urged judges to investigate confessions and police reports rather than using them as the sole basis of their decisions.