Home Morocco Royal Team Steps up Investigation on Death of Fishmonger

Royal Team Steps up Investigation on Death of Fishmonger

King Mohammed VI of Morocco with his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid. Photograph- Abdelhak Senna:AFP:Getty Images
Photo by Abdeljak Senna, AFP:Getty Images

Rabat – The palace-affiliated law enforcement team in charge of investigating the gruesome death of a fish seller in El Hociema plans to continue its efforts after meeting with Interior Minister Mohammed Hassad with the victim’s family over the weekend.

The National Department of Police Investigators is heading the fact-finding mission, after King Mohammed VI ordered the police to enforce the law to its full extent following widespread protests across Morocco regarding the facts of the fish vendor’s death.

The team met with five of late fish seller Mohcen Fikri’s friends in El Hociema, who were physically close to him during the last moments of his life.

High-level sources say the full story involves two fish vendors and one fisherman, all of whom had accompanied Fikri at the time of his death and have been questioned by police forces. The driver of the trash compactor that killed Fikri and the driver’s assistant – both also present at the time of the incident – will face the investigative team in the near future.

Moroccans extensively shared footage of the incident on social media, which showed three fish vendors and one fisherman staging a protest in the back of a garbage truck on Friday evening after their fish had reportedly been confiscated and thrown away by the police.

The trash compactor turned on without warning. Three of the protestors managed to escape, but Fikri was crushed inside.

The General Directorate for National Security released a statement over the weekend denying several allegations on bribery and police misconduct circulating on social media.

“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.

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