Several hundred protesters took to the streets of the Hague in the Netherlands to denounce "the heavy sentences" Morocco imposed on activists of the Hirak.
Rabat – Several hundred protesters are rallying in the streets of the Hague in the Netherlands on Saturday, April 20, denouncing what they see as the heavy sentences Morocco imposed on activists of the Hirak mass protests in Al Hoceima in northern Morocco.
According to the Dutch Broadcast Foundation (NSO), there are approximately 250 demonstrators.
One of the protesters, Mohammed Talhaoui, said, “We demand the immediate release of all Hirak prisoners” for receiving “unfair [sentences] as described by human rights organizations like Amnesty International.” A Casablanca court sentenced 54 Hirak activists to 1 to 20 years in prison in June 2018.
The Hirak activists people, the protester said, were demonstrating because of the militarization of Morocco’s Rif region, in demand of a better health care system, education, and decent living conditions.
Commenting on the hunger strikes of some Hirak prisoners, Talhaoui claimed prisoners “are dying” after they staged all sorts of protests like sewing their lips.
The demonstration is a call on Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok, who also denounced the “heavy” prison terms in a report Blok wrote the same year. Protesters are also calling on European organizations to unanimously “put pressure” on the Moroccan government.
“If the EU unanimously says today that this is not allowed, it will stop today,” Talhaoui asserted.
A Dutch correspondent, Willemijn de Koning, said it is difficult to know the prisoners’ state of health, especially those serving 20 years.
Koning said what’s “alarming” is prisoners’ state of mental health because of being placed in solitary confinement.
Moroccans are also planning a protest in support of the Hirak activists on Sunday in Rabat.