Ouarzazate Court of Appeal Jails 5 Demonstrators over “Thirst Protests” in Zagora
Rabat – The Hirak Rif movement’s protesters are not the only Moroccan demonstrators to face jail sentences.
The Criminal Chamber in Ouarzazate Court of Appeal has sentenced a group of people to prison for protesting over water scarcity in the Moroccan southern city of Zagora.
The court has cleared two teenagers of charges made by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The police then intervened to disperse the manifestation and arrested 23 people, seven of whom were prosecuted for “participating in an unauthorized demonstration,” according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).
Dubbed ‘Hirak Al Atach,’ meaning ‘thirst protest’ in Arabic, the movement was quickly targeted by Moroccan authorities.
Police elements started to stalk small crowds in the alleys of the city to prevent any kind of improvised demonstrations.
Protesters then allegedly started assaulting security officials by throwing them with projectiles, lighting firecrackers and setting up barricades to prevent security vehicles from advancing into the city’s neighborhoods.
However, protesters accused an officer of beating her and kicking her hard in the back while police intervened to stop the protest.
In October, King Mohammed VI tasked Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani to chair a committee to find a solution to the problem of water shortage in the country.
Residents of different regions, especially rural areas, have complained about an increasing scarcity of drinking and irrigation water.