Al Hoceima’s Court of First Instance has sentenced Mohamed Amkouh, a Hirak activist whom King Mohammed VI had already pardoned, to two years in prison for “insulting” security forces.
Rabat- Amkouh was one of the 184 Hirak prisoners whom the King pardoned on the eve of Eid al-Adha (festival of sacrifice), August 21. He had received a three-year sentence for participating in “unauthorized protests” and “undermining territorial integrity.”
Local police arrested Amkouh again late in October for practising violence against security forces and “inciting minors to protest” during the funeral of the mother of Hirak Rif detainee Bilal Ahabbad in Imzouren, a town in the Rif mountains near Al Hoceima.
Dozens of neighbors and locals attended the funeral in an atmosphere of solidarity and sadness on October 26.
Ahabbad, one of the youngest Hirak detainees, had been sentenced by a Casablanca court to 10 years in prison for participating in “unauthorized” Hirak protests. Ahabbad became suicidal after his mother’s death, especially when prison officials refused to let him attend his mother’s funeral despite previous promises.
In June, a court in Casablanca sentenced 54 Hirak activists and journalists to 1-20 years in prison. Moroccan authorities had arrested the activists involved in the Hirak Rif protest movement in 2016 and 2017.
The Hirak movement began in October 2016 after the death of Mohcine Fikri, a local fishmonger crushed to death in a garbage truck while trying to save his goods that had been confiscated by authorities in Al Hoceima.
The incident angered citizens, causing protests across the country, but especially in Al Hoceima province, which condemned Fikri’s death and social disparities in Morocco. Police arrested an estimated 400 activists and protesters involved in “unauthorized” protests.