Morocco king pardons 107 Hirak activists

King Mohammed VI pardons 755 prisoners, including 107 activists detained during protests in Al Hoceima and Jerada regions, on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr.

CASABLANCA – Morocco’s King Mohammed VI pardoned Tuesday 755 people on the occasion of the religious holiday of Eid Al Fitr, including 107 activists detained during protests in both Al Hoceima and Jerada regions.

Among those pardoned, 11 people convicted in cases of extremism and terrorism who took part in the third edition of the "Reconciliation" programme (Moussalaha), which responds to requests for pardon that these detainees submit to the King, after having officially announced their rejection of all forms of extremism and terrorism, as well as their firm attachment to the nation’s constants and sacraments and to national institutions, said the ministry of justice in a statement.

The ministry said that the King pardoned 107 convicted activists, who did not commit crimes and serious acts in the protests in Al Hoceima and Jerada regions, on human grounds.

In late 2017, protesters in the northeastern city of Jerada demanded “strong” measures, including the creation of 5,000 jobs and an investigation to determine those responsible for the economic problems of the city after the death of two brothers in an abandoned coal mine.

Protests in Jerada came more than a year after the gruesome death of fishmonger Mouhcine Fikri, which sparked a grass-roots effort called al-Hirak al-Shaabi (Popular Movement) led by jailed Nasser Zefzafi in Al Hoceima, demanding social justice, jobs and health care.

King Mohammed VI slammed the government for failing to implement a development programme signed in 2015 for Al Hoceima.