Rabat – As tensions grow in Al Hoceima, 20 people have been arrested so far on suspicion of “receiving financial funds from sources outside Morocco to damage the integrity and of the Kingdom,” said the Public Prosecutor of the City Court of Appeal in a communiqué on Saturday.
The 20 suspects, who were arrested by the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN) on Friday and Saturday, also accused of “committing acts constituted as crimes,” according to the same source.
The detainees were suspected of receiving “remittances and logistical support from abroad to promote a propaganda targeting the integrity of Morocco and shake the loyalty of the Moroccan citizens to the state and the institutions, as well as offending the emblems of the kingdom in the public gatherings,” on the basis of preliminary investigations, stated the public prosecutor.
“The collected proof has shown that the detainees [were] involved in the incitement and participation of committing crimes that affect the public order,” the Public Prosecutor continued, “[the crimes were committed] against the security of the public officials, shown in the criminal acts that occurred in Al Hoceima, Imzouren, and Beni Bouayach, causing damage and lighting fires.”
The past seven months of tensions in Al Hoceima followed the late October death of Mouhcine Fikri, the fishmonger who was crushed to death in a trash compactor while attempting to retrieve merchandise thrown away by authorities.
On Friday evening, Al Hoceima’s Public Prosecutor ordered the arrest of the leader of the protests, Nasser Zafzafi following his interruption of the Friday sermon, which constituted an obstruction the freedom of worship within a mosque.