Moroccan king pardons thousands, including ‘Hirak’ protesters

Morocco‘s King Mohammed VI marked 20 years on the throne by pardoning thousands of prisoners, including some from the “Hirak” protest movement that rocked the country in 2016.

On the eve of the royal anniversary on Tuesday, an official statement announced 4,764 people were pardoned including some detained during the months of protests in the long-marginalised northern Rif region.

The Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or “Popular Movement”, was sparked by the death of a fisherman but soon spiralled into demands for more development and action against corruption and unemployment.

More than 400 protesters are thought to have been arrested and tried in connection with the demonstrations, but no official figures are available. About 250 were previously pardoned.

Monday’s royal pardon also includes some prisoners convicted of “terrorism” as part of the fourth annual reconciliation programme, according to Morocco World News.

The programme was launched in 2018 to reintegrate prisoners into society.

Another 2,477 prisoners had their sentences reduced while 31 detainees had their death penalty sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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Musitafa Kalyowa

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