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Rif activists sent for trial in Morocco

Protesters stage a demonstration in solidarity with people who were arrested, Bab El Had square in Rabat, Morocco on June 11, 2017. Nasser Zefzafi, was arrested May 29, 2017 after three days on the run. Outrage erupted last year over the gruesome death of a fishmonger in Rif, with calls for justice moving into a grassroots movement demanding jobs and hospitals. ( Stringer - Anadolu Agency )

A Moroccan lawyer has revealed that the examining magistrate of the Court of Appeal in Casablanca has completed his investigation into a number of Hirak Rif activists who were arrested three months ago, Anadolu has reported. The leader of the movement, Nasser Al-Zafzafi, is among those being held.

Mohamed Aghnaj is the activists’ lawyer. He said that on Wednesday the magistrate ordered the files to be referred to the court in preparation for trial. The activists are charged with “threatening the internal security of the country” which could lead to a death sentence.

#Rif

According to Aghnaj, the Attorney General will determine the date for the start of the trials of these activists. A decision is expected within the next three days.

Activists have, since October, being protesting in Al-Hocaima and other cities to demand “development, an end to marginalisation of the Rif and an end to corruption”. More than 300 people have been arrested during the protests; dozens have already been sentenced.

In a TV interview in early July, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine Othmani said that the key to the Rif crisis should be political in parallel with the development of the rural areas.

What sparked the Rif movement? Moroccan fishmonger crushed to death

Moroccan people stage a protest after a fisherman, Mohcine Fikri, was crushed to death in a garbage truck, in front of Internal Ministry in Rabat, Morocco on October 30 2016 [Youness Burmani/Anadolu]

Moroccan people stage a protest after a fisherman, Mohcine Fikri, was crushed to death in a garbage truck, in front of Internal Ministry in Rabat, Morocco on October 30 2016 [Youness Burmani/Anadolu]

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