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Security forces crack down on peaceful protest

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 21 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the Moroccan security forces' continued suppression of peaceful demonstrations that began one week ago in the town of Beni Bouayach in the countryside of northern Morocco. The demonstrations, lasting over a week, focused on the marginalization of the people and their demands for greater social justice.

Beni Bouayach, one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the country, has been the site of regular demonstrations since the beginning of March, where protesters have called for equality and social justice in the face of what they deem to be exclusion practiced by the authorities. Security forces dealt violently with the protesters and on 12 March arrested an activist of the 20 February reform movement. A similar crackdown occurred in the Moroccan capital Rabat on 16 March, where peaceful demonstrators rallied to show solidarity with the legitimate demands of the Beni Bouayach protesters.

"The suppression of peaceful demonstrations is an explicit attack on freedom of opinion and expression, an unacceptable move from authorities who claim to be pursuing reform," said ANHRI.

"The Moroccan authorities should respect freedom of opinion and expression, and immediately release all activists arrested during the recent events to prove that they are serious in their claims of reform," added ANHRI.

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