1998 The Royal Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH), a government council formed in 1990 to address the politically related disappearances of an estimated 600-plus citizens, releases a report on 112 of these abductions. The report is refuted by Moroccan human rights groups who claim that it barely scratches the surface.
The Ministry of Justice makes autopsies standard procedure for any detention-related death.
February 1998 For the first time in Moroccan history, an opposition leader is appointed as prime minister. Abd ar-Rahman el-Youssoufi, leader of the Socialist Union of Public Forces vows to address government corruption during his tenure.
1999 Parliament sets up a US$4 million fund to compensate 5,900 prisoners from the last decade whose human rights were violated while they were incarcerated. The former prisoners or their surviving family members were paid awards ranging from US$25,000 to US$350,000.
July 1999 King Hassan II dies and is succeeded by his son, King Mohammed VI.
August 1999 Middle East Report reports, "Mohammed VI ordered the CCDH to activate an independent Indemnity Commission (Commission d'arbitrage), with a mandate to expire midnight December 31, 1999, to indemnify former victims of forcible disappearance and arbitrary detention.(4) Detention victims and Moroccan human rights activists, two communities with overlapping memberships, roundly criticized the CCDH bulletin describing the procedures, mandate and membership of the Indemnity Commision. The CCDH predetermined the number of "disappeared," failing to count, for example, the Group Bnouhachem (students held in a variety of secret detention centers without trial from 1975-1984) and soldiers from the 1971 and 1972 failed coups d'etat held arbitrarily for almost 20 years in Tazmamart, Morocco's most infamous secret prison. CCDH members ruled that victims filing requests for indemnities had no right to appeal decisions. Most outrageously, CCDH granted amnesty to torturers and to all those responsible for secret detention centers, illegal garde-vue, unfair trials and the systematic practice of torture in police stations and prisons."
November 1999 The prime minister announces the creation of the Commission for Administration Reform, which convenes a meeting on Nov. 3, 1999, to examine corruption and other administrative problems.
January 2000 The Network Against Corruption, a group of 46 NGOs in Morocco, denounces corruption in the country and calls for sanctions against individuals who amass wealth by misusing their positions in power. The alliance asserts that their efforts to curb corruption can only be effective if they work with the government, particularly national institutions.
October 2000 A Moroccan army captain, Mustafa Adib, refuses to appear before the Rabat military court because he is not allowed to appear in court in military uniform. Adib is accused of breaching military regulations and scandalizing the army for giving an interview alleging that senior army officers were diverting fuel from the air force and corruptly reselling it to private petrol stations. He is represented by two lawyers from an association called Advocates Without Borders. In the same month, Adib is honored for exposing the air force officers in Transparency International's first-ever International Integrity Awards held in Ottawa, Canada.
December 2000 Committee to Protect Journalists reports, "the government permanently banned the weekly newspapers Le Journal, Al-Sahiffa, and Demain. All three newspapers had published or commented on a letter alleging that Prime Minister Abderrahamane Youssefi, a former left-wing activist, had been involved in a 1972 leftist plot to assassinate King Hassan."
April 2001 The Moroccan Special Court of Justice convicts three officials of skimming funds from the country's biggest millers' association, the Millers National Federation (FNM). Ghali Sebti, chairman of FNM, is sentenced to 15 years for theft and forgery, which led to the misappropriation of some US$4 million. Two other unnamed officials are sentenced to 15 years. All three men are fugitives.
June 2001 The court of Sale, Rabat's twin city, sentences a local elected representative to 18 months in jail and another communal executive to 8 months in jail for the same charges for accepting bribes to deliver construction and commerce permits to citizens.
May 2002 Mustafa Adib, the former Moroccan army captain jailed for nearly two and a half years for denouncing alleged corruption, is released from prison. Adib was initially sentenced to five years, but his prison term was reduced by half on appeal in October 2000.
September 2002 Morocco holds its first parliamentary elections since reform-minded King Mohammed VI succeeded his father to the throne in 1999.
October 2002 King Mohammed appoints Driss Jettou, the outgoing interior minister, as prime minister, and directs the new leader of government to carry out economic and social reforms.
August 2003 The Moroccan justice minister announces the Special Court of Justice will be abolished. The Rabat-based court was established in 1972 to sanction crimes, including concussion, corruption, trading of influence and public or private funds skimming, committed by civil servants or magistrates when the amount of money embezzled or misappropriated is more than 25,000 Moroccan dirhams (nearly US$2,500). According to the minister, the Special Court of Justice's files will be transferred to criminal courts in Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, Meknes and Fes, where these courts, according to the minister, will apply the normal procedure.
January 2004 Moroccan government pardons 33 people deemed subversive. The men include Islamists, independence-campaigners from Western Sahara, and journalists such as satirist Ali Lmrabet, who was accused of insulting King Mohammed.
Parliament approves the reformed Family Code, which protects the rights of women and children. The law addresses issues of equality in the family, divorce, children's rights and polygamy. The legal stipulation that the wife should obey her husband is repealed.
King Mohamed inaugurates the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER), the first truth commission in the Arab world. The IER's mandate is to address the human rights abuses committed against Moroccan citizens by authorities from 1956 to 1999 and provide victims with reparations. A former political prisoner of 17 years, Driss Benzekri, will head the commission.
February 2004 Former Casablanca Governor Abdelaziz Laafoura and Mayor Abdelmoughit Slimani are detained as part of a widespread corruption investigation. They are accused of embezzling millions of dirhams (hundreds of thousands of US dollars) in numerous property scams and suspected of embezzlement during the building of a hotel in the southern town of Agadir as well as of 600 apartments and a shopping center in Casablanca.
May 2005 Members of the National Authority for Protection of Public Funds (NAPPF) protest outside the Moroccan Parliament demanding that the Parliament president, Abdelwahed Radi, establish a national independent authority for truth and recovering misappropriated public funds, consider corruption as a crime against humanity, and ratify the international convention to fight corruption. A recent Parliament investigation committee reported that an estimated $14.4 billion had been misappropriated from the Moroccan National Health and Pensions Organization. The NAPPF says that this money could be used to employ 4 million people in this North African nation of 33 million, as well as help build several schools and hospitals.
June 2005 Morocco's royal prosecutor announces that he has taken legal action against Nadia Yassine, a spokeswoman for the Islamist movement, Al Adl Wal Ihssane (Justice and Spirituality), for saying publicly that she supports a republic instead of a monarchy.
July 2005 Transparency Morocco submits 15 proposals for facing bribery in Morocco. According to the group's general secretary, Ezz Eldein Aksabi, the most important of these proposals is to formulate a national independent body for fighting bribery.
December 2005 The BBC reports, "Truth commission investigating human rights abuses during the rule of King Hassan II says 592 people were killed between 1956-99."
January 2006 Freedom House reports, "after two years of work and public hearings, Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER)-a government-mandated body that was unprecedented in the Arab world-submitted its final report to King Mohamed VI. It recommended several significant legal and institutional changes designed to prevent any repetition of the human rights violations witnessed under King Hassan II, Mohamed's father. The IER also incorporated a reparations program to offer compensation to the victims of state violence between 1956 and 1999." While critics see the IER forum as a step towards reconciliation, they complain that perpetrators are still not being held accountable for their actions.
April 2006 King Mohammed VI orders the release of 48 Sahrawi activists imprisoned for their participation in demonstrations demanding the independence of Western Sahara. The activists' release frees the last remaining prisoners from Western Sahara, which is controlled by Morocco.
January 2007 Driss Ksikes, director and publisher of the weekly magazine Nichane, and journalist Sanaa Al-Aji are given suspended sentences of three years in prison and fines of about US$10,700. They were charged on Dec. 20, 2006, with offending Islam under Article 41 of the Press and Publication Law 2002. The court orders Nichane to be closed for two months but allows the two men to continue their work as journalists.
April 2007 Morocco presents its plan to grant self-rule to the Western Sahara territory to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
July 2007 Justice Minister Mohamed Bouzoubaa says Moroccan courts have seen an almost 50 percent increase in corruption cases over the previous year 5,891 in 2006 compared with 3,948 in 2005.
August 2007 Ahmed Benchemsi, publisher of the Nishan and TelQuel weeklies, who was charged with showing disrespect to the monarchy, defends himself by reserving the right to criticize his country's political system.
September 2007 The results of the parliamentary elections are announced with the conservative Istiqlal party receiving the most votes. The Istiqlal party is a member of the ruling coalition.
King Mohammed VI names Abbas El Fassi, leader of a secular political party in Morocco and minister of state in the previous administration, as prime minister. The new prime minister replaces Driss Jettou, who had served since 2002. Observers say that the legislative elections were marred by corrupt practices such as illicit use of money, merchandise, and promises.
January 2008 Transparency International says 60 percent of Moroccan families had admitted during a 2006 field survey that they were compelled to give bribes. On Al-Jazeera, the chairman of the executive bureau of the Moroccan organization for the protection of public finance, Mohamed Tarek Souba'I, agrees that despite all the anti-corruption legislation and restraining laws in Morocco, the problem of bribery is spreading.
March 2008 The Moroccan Supreme Court acquits the former Casablanca governor, Abdelaziz Laafoura, who had been arrested in 2004 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for abuse of power and misuse of public funds.