Rabat – Lawyer and university professor Abdelaziz Nouidi has called for the release of the detained Rif activists, saying it is in the country’s interest.
The call was issued following his meeting with Nasser Zafzafi, the detained prominent leading member of the protest movement in Rif, known as Hirak.
In an article published on Moroccan new site Lakome2 on Friday, the longtime human rights activist said that no one who loves their country is happy with the current situation in Rif.
“It is not in the homeland’s interest to widen the gap between the state and and a part of the homeland,” said Nouidi.
“The residents of Rif are our beloved ones and brothers. They have fought injustice since the beginning of the 20th century and it is their right and everybody’s duty to put an end to the injustice, marginalization and suffering they have been going through,” he wrote.
The lawyer said that this “suffering” has been exacerbated by the state’s aggressive security approach to dealing with the protest movement in Rif.
Yet, he admitted that these repressive tactics have also increased feelings of solidarity of the rest of Morocco with the region.
During his meeting with Zafzafi, Nouidi said that the Hirak member showed a great deal of responsibility, looking for an exit from the crisis. He also said that the Rif activist complained about the absence of state institutions and talked about King Mohammed VI with respect.
Nouidi stated that Zafzafi’s main demand is the release of all detained Rif activists and the realization of development programs in the region.
“Meeting these demands will help a lot in calming the situation down and pave the way for a serene resolution of the [crisis],” he said.
This, the lawyer argued, would not shake up the image of the state as some officials suggest but would rather restore people’s faith in it.
“The persistence in a purely security approach is in fact nothing but a dangerous running away from [the crisis] and stubbornness that will have grave consequences”.