Moroccan police dispersed a large number of protesters on Friday who took to the streets against corruption and misuse of authority, Masralarabia.com has reported. The protest took place in the town of Imzouren, to the south of Al-Hoceima, after Friday prayers, during which a large number of people boycotted the usual sermons in the mosques.
One activist told AFP that the protest coincided with the second day of the general strike in Al-Hoceima and explained that:
The problem is that the authorities prevent people coming from the neighbouring cities to take part in the protests and this causes more tension
According to an unnamed Moroccan journalist cited by AFP, hundreds of youths threw stones at the riot police, who responded using water cannons to disperse the crowd and remove barricades from the streets. Local newspapers and websites published pictures and videos of the clashes, but none reported any casualties.
The protests follow the detention of political activist Naser Al-Zafrani, who has been leading a wave of demonstrations for six months and called for the strikes. Al-Zafrani was detained on Monday on charges of “destabilising the internal security of the country”. Since then, there has been a lot of tension in Al-Hoceima.
This turmoil is considered to be the most violent since 2011, when citizens called for more democracy in the kingdom.