Casablanca – Public Calls for Justice on Social Media Following Tragic Death of Moroccan Fish vendor.
The tragic death of a local fish monger who was crushed in the waste compactor of a garbage truck in the city of Hoceima has caused uproar on social media in Morocco.
Moroccan social media users have extensively shared footage of the incident that took place on Friday evening in the northern city of Hoceima. The video shows four fish mongers staging a protest in the back of a garbage truck after their fish had reportedly been confiscated and thrown there by the police.
Suddenly, the compactor was turned on and three of the fish mongers managed to escape, while the fourth, a 31-year-old named Mouhcine Fikri, was crushed inside, causing the protestors to burst into shouting and crying.
Hundreds of protestors marched in the streets of Huceima, Tetouane, Oujda, and Martil the morning of the next day. Other demonstrations were reportedly scheduled for Sunday in other cities including Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech.
Public outrage spread like wild fire throughout social media as soon as news of the incident broke. Several hashtags including “Crush him” and “We Are All Mouhcine” have trended on Facebook, compiling photos, videos, and demands that justice be served.
In the meantime, the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN) released a statement denying both that a policeman had ordered the truck driver to crush the victim by turning on the compacter and that one of the police officers had asked for a bribe before deciding to confiscate the merchandise.
“A group of pages on social networking sites shared the false news that one of the policemen had demanded an amount of money as a bribe from the driver of the car that was loaded with fish, and that the security official is the one who instructed the truck driver to turn on the waste compactor machine (Benne-tasseuse) located in the back of the vehicle, which lead to the death,” said the statement.
The DGSN also announced that the National Division of the Judicial Police’s investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of the case.
“The Directorate General of National Security emphasizes, in regard to the allegations that have been put forward about the security personnel, that the driver of the car that was loaded with fish has categorically denied that he was blackmailed by any police officer, refuting the fake allegations of bribery,” DGSN said.
On Sunday, King Mohammed VI offered his condolences to the victim’s family and ordered the Ministry of Interior to “conduct a careful and thorough investigation a careful and thorough investigation and bringing charges against whoever held responsible in this incident, with strict application of law to all, as a warning to anyone who would fail to fulfill his tasks and duties,” the ministry added in a statement.