Morocco: Judge’s disallows giving a baby girl a Berber name

Morocco Board
The refusal of a judge to allow the use of a Moroccan Berber name that parents wanted to give to their adopted daughter has aroused discontent among Moroccan organizations of human rights.
On January 28th, The court in Larache, refused to allow a Moroccan girl to have the amazigh name “Illy”, a name chosen by her adoptive parents.
"The judge's decision of Larache recalls the times that we thought had left, when the government decided what names the citizens of this country could give to their own children. In the 90’s, the government had drawn up a list of names that were allowed to be used and a list of names, mostly amazigh [Berber, ed.], that were forbidden.

Thus, the appellations of “Moulay” or “Lalla” that are traditionally given to the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad are now reserved for the royal family” Said Lawyer Aberrahim Jamai.

For the lawyer, the judge's decision revived old demons and committed a miscarriage of justice by violating the fundamental right of parents to freely choose the name of their child.

"This sentence handed down by this court violates human rights and to the plural identity of Morocco, which has Amazigh roots” he said.

The parents have appealed this decision that they consider "discriminatory". According to them, the judge justified his decision on the fact that "Illy" in amazigh means "my beloved daughter," Whereas the girl is adopted.

Several organizations of human rights and child welfare, as well as Amazigh organizations expressed their support for the family.

8 February 2008