By Safaa Kasraoui
By Safaa Kasraoui
Rabat – Despite recent public opinion condemning the so-called “security approach” to the ongoing Hirak protests across Morocco, King Mohammed VI praised the efforts exerted by national security in protecting the kingdom and its citizens during his Throne Day speech.
On the eve of Throne Day, the King expressed his admiration for law enforcement and security officers, who are “making major sacrifices, working day and night in difficult conditions to fulfill their duty.”
The sovereign added that security officers worked hard to satisfy citizens and make them proud of their national security system. He added that the officers strove to “maintain the internal and external security and stability of the homeland, safeguard the security, serenity and tranquility of citizens.”
While commending the work of the nation’s security authorities, the King stated that ” Moroccans have every right and ought, in fact, to be proud of their law-enforcement officials.”
“I say this loud and clear, without any inferiority complex, if certain nihilist do not want to admit this, or refuse to tell the truth, it i their problem and theirs alone.”
Moroccan citizens have criticized the national security regime for its intervention in ongoing protests, particularly in Al Hoceima, where the Hirak movement originated.
The protests were sparked by the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a local fish vendor, who was fatally crushed by a garbage truck on October 28, 2016. Since then, the Rif region has witnessed massive demonstrations resulting in clashes between security forces and protesters. Approximately 178 protesters have been arrested during the eight-month protest period.
On Saturday, the King granted a royal pardon to 1,178 prisoners, including Rif detainees and PJD youth members. Prominent Hirak member, Salima ‘Silya’ Ziani, was among the detainees who benefited from the royal pardon. It appears, however, that Nasser Zafzafi, another leading activist, was not released.