Morocco court docket upholds Hirak motion protesters’ sentences



Demonstrators demanding the release of activists outside a court in Casablanca, Morocco, April 2019Picture copyright
AFP/Getty

Picture caption

Demonstrators exterior the Casablanca courthouse demanded the instant launch of the activists

A Moroccan court docket has rejected an attraction in opposition to the jail sentences of activists who demonstrated in opposition to corruption and unemployment.

Dozens of individuals stood exterior the Casablanca court docket demanding the prisoners’ instant launch forward of the ruling.

The authorities have accused the activists of being separatists.

Protests rocked the North African nation in 2016 and 2017 after the demise of an area fishmonger.

Mohcine Fikri was crushed to demise by a garbage lorry within the metropolis of Al-Hoceima as he tried to guard his fish, which had been confiscated by the police.

His demise in October 2016 prompted a wave of anger, with hundreds taking to the streets accusing authorities of abuse of energy and corruption.

The so-called Hirak motion unfold all through the northern Rif area, and about 400 individuals have been detained – drawing additional demonstrations.

Fugitive Morocco protest chief arrested
Morocco protest over arrested activist

In June 2018, courts sentenced the chief of the motion, Nasser Zefzaki, to 20 years in jail, with the identical time period for activists Ouassim El Boustati and Samir Ghid. Others got sentences of as much as 15 years behind bars.

Now, the courts have rejected an attraction in opposition to the sentences.

Family members of these arrested reportedly chanted “corrupt state” and “lengthy reside the individuals” exterior the court docket home as soon as the choice was introduced.

Mr Zefzaki was a finalist in 2018 for the Sakharov Prize, which honours individuals who struggle for human rights.

A bunch of MEPs despatched a letter to Morocco’s justice minister on Wednesday urging the nation to instantly launch Mr Zefzaki and the opposite detained protesters.

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