Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- An estimated 85 000 people took to the streets of Rabat early afternoon today to demand the release of around 100 Rifi detainees, including asking for the resigning of the head of government and his cabinet, among others.
The protest saw the participation of people from all walks of life and from all stripes of the Moroccan human rights spectrum, including the 20th February movement, the Federation of Democratic Left party, various factions of youth sections of Moroccan political parties like the PJD, Al Istiqlal, and USFP, and especially it saw the participation of a huge number of members of opposition movement Al Adl Wa al Ihassane (Justice and Charity Organization/JCO), a group officially banned by the Moroccan authorities even though they close an eye on most of its activities due the huge number of members and sympathizers it draws.
The huge number of protesters rallied in the streets of the capital and strongly denounced what they called the “political arrest of Rifi detainees”, including condemning the excesses and torture that have been committed by the authorities amid the incarceration of many Rifi activists during the last two weeks.
Some protesters were seen holding band-rolls featuring the following message: “Immediately release the political detainees,” “Rifis are true Moroccans, the head of government and his cronies are the real separatists,” and “stop the militarization of the Rif region.”
People also shouted slogans against the scourge of corruption, poor services, clientelism, favoritism, nepotism, and cronyism.
Some people also called upon King Mohammed VI to intervene to free all the detainees.
Among the slogans that were carried and chanted, “The people want the release of the detainees,” and “Are we ruled by a government or a gang?”
Some people also demanded the resignation of Morocco’s Minister of Interior Laftit, deeming him the first responsible for the recent wave of violence and incarcerations against Rifis in the great Al Hoceima area.
The Moroccan Times.