Moroccan human rights advocate Abdelaziz Benzakour passes away

The recent demise of Abdelaziz Benzakour, a notable Moroccan jurist, esteemed lawyer, and passionate advocate of human rights, has sparked a wave of sorrow and remembrance. His pivotal role as the kingdom’s mediator, a position appointed by King Mohammed VI from 2011 to 2018, significantly shaped the institution safeguarding citizens’ rights.

Contrary to speculation, Benzakour’s death on January 2, 2024, at his residence in Casablanca, was not the result of an accident. The cause was attributed to a long-standing illness, marking the conclusion of a life dedicated to legal wisdom, advocacy, and public service. Throughout his life, Benzakour remained steadfastly committed to justice and human rights, leaving a profound impact on the rule of law in Morocco.

Abdelaziz Benzakour’s illustrious career was punctuated with significant roles, including bâtonnier of the Casablanca Bar and president of the Association of the Bars of Morocco. Globally celebrated, he held the presidency of the Inter-African Union of Lawyers and made significant contributions to numerous human rights organisations. As an original member of the Moroccan Organisation for Human Rights, established in 1988, Benzakour’s dedication to activism and societal improvement was unquestionable.

The demise of this legal luminary leaves a significant gap not only in the legal community but also in the hearts of those who revered his resilience, integrity, and commitment to noble causes. His legacy remains an enduring source of inspiration for future generations committed to upholding justice and human dignity.

His Majesty King Mohammed VI has extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of the late Abdelaziz Benzakour. Recognising Benzakour’s remarkable contributions to the nation, the King has expressed his deep sorrow and condolences for the family’s loss. His message also appreciates Benzakour’s extraordinary skills as a jurist, a human rights advocate, and a public servant.

Moreover, King Mohammed VI acknowledged Benzakour’s impact on Moroccan law and human rights, extending his condolences to not just the immediate family, but also the wider community of human rights activists and legal professionals who were influenced by Abdelaziz’s values.

The King’s words offer comfort in this trying time and reaffirm the nation’s gratitude for Benzakour’s invaluable service in various roles throughout his distinguished career. As a symbol of resilience, justice, and unwavering dedication to human rights, Abdelaziz Benzakour has left an indelible mark on many lives, both nationally and internationally. His passing is a significant loss to the legal and human rights communities.