Sidi Ifni - Ifni Protests

Ifni Protests

In June 2008, violent protests took place in Sidi Ifni; according to the first media reports 8 people were killed by police forces, but this claim was later not substantiated.

On May 30, dozens of unemployed workers started to block the port as to protest against not having been employed there. Unloading of fish was hindered. The following day, barriers were erected around the port. Several mediation intents with local officials gave no result. On June 6, around 500-600 people protested in the town and, moved by rumours that a police force from Tiznit or Agadir was to arrive, in the first hours of June 7, several entrances to the town were blocked by protesters. A local official was severely harassed by the protesters. At 6:30am on the same day, a police force composed of some 8,000 agents entered the city, dispersed the protesters employing rubber bullets and reopened the port Many of the protesters fled to the surrounding mountains. The police then entered houses in the neighbourhoods of Boulaalame and Lalla Meryem and started to arrest people in a violent way. Abuse, harassment and theft took place. Around 182 people were detained and all but 10 were liberated later that day. 12 cases of torture leading to up to 30 days of temporal incapacity and around 35 cases of aggression or harassment were proven the by Moroccan Human Rights organisation OMDH.

On June 7, the Qatar-owned TV chain Al Jazeera stated that between 8 and 10 people had been killed during the police intervention. Amnesty International's 2009 report reads that, "They also conducted unauthorized raids on homes, confiscated property, verbally and sexually harassed people, and carried out arbitrary arrests and detentions." "The relation between the Moroccan government and Al Jazeera was seriously deteriorated and in July, Brahim Sbaalil, a spokesperson for the islamist-leaning Centre Marocain des Droits Humain (CMDH) that had echoed the claim, was condemned to 6 months in prison for "spreading false accusations".

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