Is Morocco simmering?
But these days, many here are questioning whether the king and his entourage really gave up anything at all. Telquel, perhaps the country’s most influential magazine, ran a cover story this fall saying that the palace had gradually taken back its concessions: the king’s shadow cabinet was interfering at will and was even sending its own emissaries to the United States and Brussels when Moroccan interests needed tending to. Mr. Benkirane, the magazine pointed out, had publicly admitted that the king’s advisers sometimes met with government officials without consulting him.
Some also point to a quiet clamping down on political activists. In October, the United Nations said there was evidence of a recent spike in reports of torture in Morocco. About 70 protesters associated with the pro-democracy February 20 Movement are still in prison. In May, a popular rapper was sentenced to a year in jail for a song about police corruption. And six political activists testified at a hearing in September that they had been physically — and sexually — abused after being arrested for protesting in July.