By Intissar Faouzi
By Intissar Faouzi
Rabat- Two protests are scheduled today, in Rabat and Casablanca, to denounce the harsh sentences pronounced against Hirak activists.
The sentences handed down Tuesday night by the judges of the Criminal Division of the Casablanca Court of Appeals against 54 Hirak leaders ranged from 1 to 20 years in prison.
No activists were acquitted.
Moroccan activists expressed their anger on their social media accounts, calling for justice. As a result, they organized protests today, June 27, to make their voices heard.
The first protest will be organized by activists from Rabat in front of the Parliament, starting at 6 p.m. under the slogan “They were arrested for us, let’s fight for them.”
The second will also take place today in Casablanca’s Place des Nations Unies (United Nations Square) starting at 7 p.m.
On the Casablanca protest’s Facebook event, organizers wrote, “We thought we would not relive the years of lead [authoritarianism in the Rif region], and that we would no longer experience human rights violations. We were expecting that the state would finally think about cities and marginalized areas of the country but there is apparently no happy ending, the verdicts pronounced against the detainees of Hirak show the reality of justice in Morocco.”
The court’s sentences have caused a big controversy. Many associative, cultural, and activist actors did not hesitate to express their indignation.
The activists, including Nasser Zefzafi, were arrested for conspiracy against the security of the state after protesting conditions in Al Hoceima in 2016 and 2017.
The protests began after the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a local fishmonger working in the informal economy. He was crushed to death in a garbage truck in October 2016 while attempting to retrieve goods that authorities had confiscated.
The incident resulted in many protests in Al Hoceima and the surrounding areas. Chanting social slogans, the protesters decried social disparities in the region.