King of Morocco Muhammad VI Pardons Protesters

King Mohammed VI
King Mohammed VI

Moroccan king Muhammed VI has pardoned around a thousand protesters of riff region who joined in the ongoing protests in the northern region of the country.

The Moroccan king has pardoned  a total 1,178 detainees excluding those who have been accused of “committing crimes and are not implicated in serious acts.. bearing in mind their family and humanitarian conditions,” said the country’s justice ministry.

Thousands of Moroccans took to the streets last October protesting the death of a fisherman Mouchine Fikri, who was crushed to death inside a garbage compactor as he tried to save his fish which was confiscated by the local officials.

That particular death of a fish vendor in Morocco’s impoverished Northern Riff region shocked the common citizens resulting in a popular revolt, which came to be known as Al-Hirak al-Shaabi or the “Popular Movement” against corruption and abuse of power by the authorities.

The government promised development investment to better the lives in the riff regions and pulled back police forces from the prominent site to ease the tension.

Moroccan king announced this pardon in a televised speech to mark his 18 years on the throne. This announcement has been positively responded by the lawyer of the detained protesters, Mr. Abdessadek Al-Bouchtaoui.

He regards this move as “a positive step but it does not go far enough, because we are calling for the release of everyone held”.

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