CASABLANCA - Morocco’s Minister of State responsible for Human Rights El Mostafa Ramid is facing growing calls to resign after news emerged that his law cabinet had never declared his late secretary to social security.
An audio message of an unidentified lawyer, which has gone viral on the messaging app WhatsApp in the last few days, explained that former Minister of Justice and Freedoms Ramid had never declared his late secretary Jamila Bichr who had been working at his cabinet for 24 years.
New website Atlas Info quoted a source as saying that Bichr was never declared at the National Social Security Fund (CNSS).
To add insult to injury, Ramid, who has so far kept mum on the allegations, tried to buy the silence of Bichr’s family by offering to compensate her mother with a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj pilgrimage.
Ramid, a leading figure in the ruling Islamist Justice and Development party, is facing calls from Moroccans, civil society and experts to resign following the “scandal” from a politician who was supposed to defend human rights.
Omar-Cherkaoui, professor at the Mohammedia University of law, economics and social studies, called for Ramid to step down for committing a flagrant mistake that was likely to cause a big embarrassment to the Islamist-led government.
“What happened requires Ramid’s resignation from the government, because he committed a grave mistake that made the entire government in a legal embarrassment,” Cherkaoui wrote on Facebook.
“How can the government require employers to declare their employees in the CNSS and one of its ministers appointed by a dahir is breaking the dahir?” he asked.
“What increases the hypothesis of resignation as an issue isthat Ramid's situation has become fragile at the level of human rights both internally and externally, and the fear that this file will be used internationally to embarrass us in international forums by opponents, so no official who has not respected the social rights of a citizen can convince the world of the development of human rights In our country,” he added.
Moroccans took to social media to denounce Ramid’s “unhuman” treatment of his late secretary.
“And to say that he is a lawyer supposed to defend abused citizens!! And former Minister of Justice meant to ensure justice for ALL ... and current Minister responsible for Human Rights!!! Mostafa Ramid must be tried!” tweeted Roudhane Benhamou.
Facebooker Youssef Mahmoudi said that “there must be prosecutions for every corrupt and the punishment must be severe if we want to move this country forward.”
Ramid said last month in a live debate with the Justice and Development youth on Facebook that corruption undermined the values of justice and the rule of law.
He acknowledged that Morocco sought to approach the issue of corruption with reforms through laws and institutions, but it did not reach full completion.
“We still lack measures, laws and institutions that should be elaborated to fortify the state of right and law that prevails in transparency, integrity and governance,” he said.