Hirak Rif Petition Noam Chomsky and 200 Intl Figures Demand Release

Rabat – Linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, filmmaker Ken Loach, and author Arundhati Roy have signed a petition calling for the immediate release of detained Rif protesters, published on October 28 a year after the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri was fatally crushed by a garbage dumpster in Al Hoceima.The death of Fikri, which sparked the outbreak of the Hirak Rif protest movement in the region, was commemorated by a call for international solidarity by the signers.Initiated by the Support Committee for Political Prisoners in Casablanca and published by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Paris, the petition was signed by 200 people, including eighteen members of the European Parliament, eighteen members of national legislatures, dozens of trade unionists, academics, and other public figures like Chomsky, Loach, and Roy. The petition was launched “when 37 political prisoners of Hirak had been on hunger strike for nearly a month to denounce repression.”While the detainees have suspended their strike, for the petitioners, “that does not change anything of the gravity of the demands for their liberation and the defense of democratic rights in Morocco.”The petition demanded the release of the prisoners of Rif and “to hold the authorities responsible for the long duration of the strike.”While the peaceful movement called for social justice and economic development, the response of the authorities was brutal, which led to the death of one protester, and the arrest 400 people, 360 of whom were still in prison, including 15 minors and 7 journalists, the petitioners wrote.“The Moroccan people, in their peaceful protest against the movement of the countryside, rose up for social justice as their absolute right,” said the petition, deeming the authorities “responsible for the lives of the political prisoners of movement.” read more