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King Mohammed VI to Spend Summer Holiday in Al Hoceima

Rabat – King Mohammed VI is expected to spend some days in Al Hoceima, the epicenter of months-long protests in the Rif, Moroccan news outlet Medias24 reported.The news website cited an official source which stated that the King will “probably” head to Al Hoceima to spend his usual summer holidays in a beach camp located in the city.The same sources added that military elements, “probably” the usual escort of the King, were seen heading to Al Hoceima on Saturday. While the visit seems to be mainly private, the website noted that the King is known for his surprise visits to places where he is not expected. If the visit goes forward, it will be the first time King Mohammed VI will have come to Al Hoceima since protests started in the city on October 28th last year following the death of local fishmonger Mouhcine Fikir.Since the beginning of the crisis, many, including members of the Hirak (the protest movement in Al Hoceima) have been calling for the King’s intervention to address the situation.During Throne Day last month, the monarch granted pardons for dozens of detained Hirak members. A far larger number of detainees, around 200 according to lawyers, remain in prison where they are being prosecuted on serious charges including “undermining the security of the state” and “undermining people’s loyalty to state institutions.”In his Throne Day speech on July 29, the King addressed the crisis of Al Hoceima head on for the first time.While he noted his appreciation for the security forces, he criticized public officials and political parties for dereliction of their duty to implement development projects in the region and for failing to represent their constituents, such that “law enforcement services have found themselves face to face with the citizens.”“What happened there could actually occur in any other region,” said the King.Edited by Elisabeth Myers read more