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Mon 24 February 2020:

Thousands of activists protested on Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco, demanding the improvement of social and human rights conditions.

Participants in the protest march, called by the Moroccan Social Front (including more than 30 organisations and bodies), raised slogans calling for respect of human rights in the country.

The protesters in the march, which started from Al-Nasr Square to the end of the neighbourhood of Darb Omar, chanted slogans calling for “improving the citizens’ situation and rejecting the restrictions imposed on human rights and social media activists.”

“This march comes to demand social justice, rights and freedoms,” said Younes Ferrachin, coordinator of the Moroccan Social Front.

Ferrachin called in a speech on the sidelines of the march to continue the struggle until the social demands are met.

He pointed to the need to confront what he called “the human rights rollback in his country and the systematic restriction of freedoms.”

Ferrachin also called for the release of the Hirak Rif Movement detainees.

Anadolu was not able to obtain immediate comment from the Moroccan authorities on the protesters’ demands.

Since October 2016, and over a period of 10 months, the city of Al Hoceima and a number of cities and villages in the Reef region (north) have witnessed protests calling for “more developmental projects in the region and to putting an end to its marginalisation,” according to the protesters.

At the end of last July, the Moroccan Monarch, King Mohamed VI, pardoned 4,764 detainees in the kingdom’s prisons, on the occasion of the 20th commemoration of his accession to power, including a group of people who were detained in the events of Al Hoceima.

Last January, the government denied any decline in the country in terms of human rights and freedom of expression.

The government spokesman, Hassan Abyaba, called during a press conference, for “the need to discriminate between free expression and the perpetration of crimes.”

Abyaba stressed that any citizen, whether “a doctor or a journalist who committed a felony, would be punished by law, and that freedom of expression is guaranteed in the country.”


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