King Mohammed VI took the step as this country is seeing small-scale but regular protests by activists demanding greater democratic freedoms, amid demonstrations around the Arab world.
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Three activists for the independence of Western Sahara, Ali Salem Tamek (L), Ibrahim Dahhane (R) and Ahmed Naciri (C), who were detained for more than two years on charges of undermining Morocco's internal security, celebrate after being released from prison. Morocco's King Mohammed VI pardoned 190 detainees today, including Islamist political prisoners, on the advice of a rights council set up a month ago as the country undertakes reforms.
The ministry said in a statement carried by the MAP news agency that the king's decision meant 190 people had their sentences commuted, had death penalties converted to limited prison terms, or had prison terms reduced. The statement did not say what they were convicted for.
Independent activists have said suspects detained under Morocco's counterterrorism laws are routinely subjected to human rights violations.