Morocco slams US human rights report as 'lies'
An American report on human rights in Morocco has been slammed as "truly scandalous" by the North African country.
The Moroccan interior ministry described the US State Department report as going "from approximation of information to pure and simple invention, from erroneous appreciation to lies."
The ministry also denounced the alleged findings as "unreliable" and "politically hostile."
The US State Department, which issues an annual country-by-country report on human rights, said in its latest publication that "systematic and pervasive corruption undermined law enforcement and the effectiveness of the judicial system," and that there are no official records of the prosecution or punishment of those culpable.
It added that verdicts in trials relating to issues like the monarchy, Islam and national security "appeared pre-determined."
The interior ministry has said that despite meetings between its minister Mohamed Hassad and US Ambassador Dwight Bush about the report, there has been no change on the matter.
"Morocco wants no more evasive responses, but precise case by case answers," Hassad said.
The minister stressed that his country would "explore all possible paths" to expose the alleged inaccuracies, and "is prepared to go to the end," even if it means taking the case to the "highest authorities in the different national American institutions."
Meanwhile, the US State Department in Washington have rejected Morocco's criticism.
"The Department of State stands by the information contained in the 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Morocco," spokesman John Kirby said.
Despite usually enjoying good ties due to Morocco's strategic position as a key US partner in fighting regional terrorism, relations between the old allies have recently come under strain.
Rabat also recently expressed disappointment with Washington's change of stance with regards to the kingdom's plans for the Western Sahara, which it has been at loggerheads with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over.