The families of detainees from the Popular Movement have vowed not to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid this week in protest of their family members’ detention.
The families released a statement stating that that they would not celebrate Eid until their family members are released from their imprisonment in Casablanca.
“We do not boycott the Eid ritual, but we refuse to celebrate it while our innocent brothers, sons and fathers are in prison,” they said in the statement published on Al Aoual news site.
The families have said they will not take part in the animal sacrifice but will attend the prayer and visit their relatives, as is customary. However the detainees have expressed their wish for their families to make a single sacrifice on their behalf to be given in charity.
The detainees also called on their families, and Al-Hoceima residents to fast yesterday and today in solidarity with the Popular Movement which has been leading protests in the region since October last year.
The detainees’ cases were investigated last week and examined by the magistrate of the Court of Appeal in Casablanca, according to a Moroccan lawyer. The magistrate ordered the files to be referred to the court in preparation for trial.
The activists are charged with “threatening the internal security of the country” which could lead to a death sentence.
Hundreds have been arrested whilst protesting the unemployment and underdevelopment of the Al-Hoceima region which residents have accused the Kingdom of abandoning and redirecting development funds to south of the country. One protester died in clashes last month; the first since the protests began.
The leader of the Hirak Rif Movement, Nassif Zefzafi, was arrested at the end of May for organising the protests that have been ongoing since the death of a fishmonger last year that was crushed to death in a rubbish truck after his produce was confiscated.
Read: Video of detained Rif protest leader shows no torture marks
The Kingdom has sent representatives to Al-Hoceima in a bid to quell protests and promised reforms but little has been done to meet the protesters’ demands.
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