Last week, thousands of people took to the streets in al-Hoceima in northern Morocco to demand the release of more than 200 activists jailed during demonstrations across the country’s Rif region over the past nine months.
The unrest dates back to October when fish vendor Mouhcine Fikri died in a rubbish compactor while trying to retrieve his wares, which had been confiscated by local police. His case set off a wave of public anger over the historical marginalisation of the people of Rif.
The protest movement, known as Hirak, focuses on the lack of infrastructure, hospitals, schools and employment opportunities in the region. Authorities have responded by making arrests in an effort to suppress the protests.