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Morocco: MP proposes bill to pardon Hirak prisoners

A Moroccan demonstrator shouts slogans as he protests against militarisation of the Rif on July 15, 2018 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]
A Moroccan demonstrator shouts slogans as he protests against militarisation of the Rif on July 15, 2018 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]

The Moroccan parliament yesterday proposed a draft law to pardon detainees from the Hirak Rif movement who were arrested in recent protests. Nabila Mounib MP, a member of the opposition Socialist Party, has apparently submitted a bill for a general amnesty covering the movement's detainees.

In October 2016, Al-Hoceima and a number of other towns and villages in Morocco's northern Rif region witnessed popular protests calling for "the development of the region and an end to its marginalisation." While the protest movement was dissolved ten months after its launch, its leader, Nasser Zefzafi, is still in prison.

The Moroccan appeals court in Casablanca upheld a preliminary ruling of 20 years in prison for Zefzafi on 5 April 2019. He was charged with "compromising the internal integrity of the kingdom."

A pardon was issued by Morocco's King Mohamed for some of the prisoners in this case, but it did not include Zefzafi and other prominent individuals.

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