Before the trial, dozens of Moroccans protested in front of the Casablanca Court of Appeals, demanding the release of all Hirak Rif activists.
Rabat – Casablanca’s Court of Appeal has upheld the sentences against the 54 activists detained for their participation in unauthorized protests in the Hirak Rif, which broke out in the Al Hoceima province in 2016 and 2017.
The court made its ruling its on Friday night around midnight.
Dozens of Moroccans protested in front of the Casablanca Court of Appeal to show solidarity with the activists on Friday before the appeal session. The protesters demanded the immediate release of the protesters .
In June 2018, a Casablanca court gave sentences varying from 1 to 20 years to 54 Hirak activists for participating in “unauthorized” Hirak protests.
Nasser Zefzafi, prominent Hirak activist, received 20 years.
Activist Ouassim El Boustati and Samir Ghid also received 20 years in prison, while Zakaria Adehchour, Mohamed Haki, and Mohamed Bouhenouch received 15 years in prison. Moroccan journalist Hamid El Mahdaoui was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Today, before the judges in the courtroom, El Mahdaoui said, “I am your son and your brother, the song of this country.”
“When I get out of prison, I will not hate anyone. I love this country with all its institutions.”
Addressing the judges, Mahdaoui said “issue a fair judgment.”
In 2016 and 2017, police arrested about 400 activists and protesters involved in the Hirak Rif protests in northern Morocco.
The Hirak began in October 2016 after the death of Mohcine Fikri, a local fishmonger who was crushed to death in a garbage truck while trying to save his goods that had been confiscated by authorities.