Thousands protest in support of Moroccan activists

People protest during a solidarity march for jailed leaders of the protests that shook the northern Rif region. (Reuters)

Thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday in the Moroccan capital Rabat, calling for the release of dozens of activists jailed for up to 20 years over their role in a protest movement.

“The people want the release of the detainees,” demonstrators shouted as they marched behind a banner supporting activists linked to the Hirak movement.

Earlier this month a court upheld the ruling against 42 people linked to the Al-Hirak al-Shaabi – or “Popular Movement” – protests which took hold of the marginalized Rif region in October 2016.

AFP reporters saw thousands of people in the streets, some clutching photographs of those serving jail terms ranging from one to 20 years.

The sentences first handed down last June were upheld on April 6 by the Casablanca court of appeal.

Moroccan authorities insist the judicial process has followed international standards.

Last Update: 06:55 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55