Demonstrations that have rocked Morocco’s northern region of Rif for eight months have worsened of late. With a police crackdown, peaceful protests have turned into violent clashes. Protesters are demanding social and economic justice, fighting what is known as “hogra,” or abuse by police, which deprives citizens of dignity.
The demonstrations started in October at Al-Hoceima, where a fish seller was crushed to death during a dispute with police. He was trying to recover 1,100 pounds of swordfish, caught out of season, that police had confiscated and disposed of in a garbage truck. The man was unable to get out of the truck in time when the compacting mechanism was turned on. Some activists claimed police intentionally ordered the truck driver to turn on the crusher. Authorities deny the allegations.