Morocco bans protests on anniversary of Rif demonstrations

Morocco bans protests on anniversary of Rif demonstrations
1 min read
28 October, 2017
Moroccan authorities respond to calls for protests on social media by banning demonstrations on the first anniversary of the Rif region's unrest.
Protests erupted in the Rif region after the death of a fishmonger last year [AFP]

Morocco has moved to ban protests in the al-Hoceima province on first the anniversary of last year's riots in the country's northern Rif region.

The ban took effect on Friday and will extend into Saturday, according to a statement from provincial authorities.

"The regional authorities in Al-Hoceima have banned all demonstrations in public areas on Oct. 27 and 28, following calls on social media for a fresh wave of street demonstrations," the statement read.

Authorities said the ban aims to counter calls for protests that "generate an atmosphere of tension that negatively effects the public interest and public security".

Protests broke out at the end of October last year, when a fishmonger was crushed to death by a garbage truck while protesting against the confiscation of his fish by police.

The Rif region erupted into riots, with protesters demanding jobs, funding for the impoverished area and an end to alleged government corruption.

The protests, which carried on for months, led to Morocco's King Mohammed VI pledging greater investment and development for the Berber-majority region.

Several government ministers and local officials have also been sacked in relation to alleged failures in developing the Rif region, including four government ministers earlier this week.