Morocco pays released prisoners

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The Independent Online

The Moroccan government yesterday began compensating people who were unjustlyimprisoned in detention camps during the reign of King Hassan II, who died last July.

The government freed up an initial 40 million dirhams (£2.45m), and further funds are expected to be allocated later.

Since taking the throne last summer, King Mohammed VI has tried to bring change, notably firing his father's feared interior minister, Driss Basri.

The first victims to receive compensation were 40 people, mainly political opponents of the late king, who had been detained in the hard labour camp of Tazmamart, in the Atlas Mountains, the Advisory Council for Human Rights said. They will benefit by up to 150,000 dirhams (£9,350), aimed at covering medical costs from the after-effects of imprisonment.

Before a December 1999 deadline, the independent human rights commission received 5,500 requests for compensation from victims of the former regime.