Rabat – Facing continuous violence from riot police, protesters in Al Hoceima and its nearby town in the Rif region are seeking news ways to keep the protest movement alive and their voices heard through new forms of protest, including holding a demonstration on a beach.
On Saturday protesters held a demonstration on Sfiha beach in Ajdir, a few kilometers away from Al Hoceima, the epicenter of the eight-month long protests.
Pictures and videos published on social and online news outlets show riot police encircling protesters on the beach.
According to the reports, protesters stated that they had resorted to organizing the demonstration in the unusual settingdue to the heavy nature of police interventions in the city.
Witnessed by tourists and visitorsalike, the scene of riot police facing protesters on the beach was, to say the least, disconcerting.
The government, and especially the powerful Ministry of Interior’s harsh management of the protests, trying to quell demonstrations before they start, resulted in injuries among protesters and caused some of them to respond violently by throwing rocks and Molotovcocktails at the police.The strategy has been highly criticized by both opposition parties and human rights groups.
During the demonstration, protesters reiterated their top priority demand, the release of their follow protesters and leading activists of the protest movement, Hirak, held in Casablanca, Al Hoceima and Nador.
According to Government Spokesperson, Mustapha El Khalfi,93 protesters and activistsare now being detained in the three cities where they have been charged with “undermining state security,” “threatening the kingdom’s territorial integrity,” “violence against security forces,” as well as other serious accusations.
On Saturday,Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Ohmani, asserted that the government cannot intervene in the case of the Rif detainees as it is a judiciary matter now. Meanwhile, tension in the region is set to continue, leaving manycontemplating a potential exit from the crisis.