Morocco: Zafzafi, ‘hirak’ protesters due in court Monday

By AT editor - 4 June 2017 at 5:38 pm
Morocco: Zafzafi, ‘hirak’ protesters due in court Monday

Nasser Zafzafi, the prominent activist of the “hirak” movement in Morocco’s restive Rif region, is due to appear in a Casablanca court on Monday.

Zafzafi and 30 other protesters detained during the latest round of demonstrations spreading from Al Hoceima to other Moroccan cities will appear before Casablanca’s Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal, the Morocco World News reports.  They face various charges of violence against security forces, holding unauthorized holding protests, and undermining state security.

In the case of Zafzafi, whose arrest followed the disruption of Friday prayers at an Al Hoceima mosque 10 days ago, charges also include “obstructing the right of worship.”

Protests have continued each night since, following Zafzafi’s call for peaceful resistance from the Al-Hirak al-Shaabi popular movement. Al Hoceima has been at the center of Morocco’s unrest since the October 28 death of Mohcen Fikri.

The fish market vendor was crushed to death in a trash truck while trying to salvage his wares after police threw out his market goods. Some have been calling the latest wave of widespread demonstrations the “new February 20,” referring to the movement of 2011 in the heart of Morocco’s Arab Spring.

Widespread arrests and disappearances have been condemned by Reporters Without Borders, in the case of journalist detentions, and international NGOs including Amnesty International.

In Rabat, a group of 22 local organizations affiliated with the Moroccan Coalition of Human Rights plans an inquiry into the protests led by Abdelilah Ben Abdeslam of AMDH. Members of the group will travel to the Rif region on Tuesday to begin three-day meetings with activists, and local politicians and civil society leaders.

King Mohammed VI also met with political party leaders on Saturday to discuss the situation, local media said.

Image: AMDH Rabat

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