Rabat - Following a police intervention against a feminist protest on Saturday evening in Rabat, the Rabat-Salé Police Department issued a communiqué on Sunday stating that protesters had exaggerated injuries suffered at the hands of law enforcement agents.
Rabat – Following a police intervention against a feminist protest on Saturday evening in Rabat, the Rabat-Salé Police Department issued a communiqué on Sunday stating that protesters had exaggerated injuries suffered at the hands of law enforcement agents.
On June 8, the activist group Moroccan Women Against Political Arrest in Rabat staged a peaceful protest in front of the parliament building to urge for the release of Rif activists, particularly Silya Ziani. Pictures and videos from the protest show that local police intervened and forcibly broke up the gathering.
The police statement implied that the protesters had not suffered from major injuries.“Some protesters pretended to faint and fell to the ground,” it read. “Civil protection bodies intervened to transfer them to Ibn Sina hospital in Rabat, which they left immediately.”
The department said that police had demanded the protestors disperse for creating a “public disturbance and obstruction of traffic.”
Some of the demonstrators “objected and refused to comply with the police order,” added the statement. Some others “provoked and confronted the members of the public forces and subjected them to verbal and physical violence,” forcing the public forces, in coordination with public prosecutor, to intervene and disperse the gathering.
The Police Department said that the local authority and the public forces acted in accordance with legal requirements set up by a 1958 Royal Decree.
“Local authorities and the public forces intervened to implement the legal requirements set out in Dahir No. 377. issued on 15 November 1958 on public assemblies,” said the communiqué.
Authorities complied with the requisitions of the article 17of Dahir No. 377, added the statement. “Any public armed gathering and any unarmed crowd that might interfere with public safety are forbidden,” reads the article.
On the other hand, the organizing committee of Moroccan Women Against Political Arrest in Rabat said that protesters and activists had stood up to “cowardly repression.”
The police confronted the activists with “brutal violence,” said the committee “pushing, beatings, kicking, abusing, insulting, and using other forms of violence and degrading acts” to dispatch the protest.
The activist group called the intervention “another embodiment of the reality of tyranny and domination that constitute the nature of the political system in the country,” and that “repression will not discourage them [the movement] in the fight for freedom and dignity.”