Morocco accused over coverage of Rif protests

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Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Saturday accused the Moroccan authorities of hindering coverage of unrest in the Rif region which has been shaken by protests for nine months.

This year has seen waves of protests and bouts of violence in the Rif, where residents have long complained of neglect and marginalization.

“The situation of Moroccan and foreign journalists covering the events in northern Morocco keeps on getting worse,” said Yasmine Kacha, the head of RSF’s North Africa bureau, in a statement.

“By trying to prevent coverage of the Rif protests, the Moroccan authorities are gradually turning this region into a no-go zone for independent media.”

The northern city of Al-Hoceima and the surrounding area have been the focus of the so-called Al-Hirak al-Shaabi protest movement.

On Thursday, police in Al-Hoceima fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators and stop them marching in defiance of a government ban.

RSF also called on the authorities “to free all the citizen-journalists who have been arrested and to condemn all the physical attacks against media personnel who are just doing their job by covering these demonstrations”.

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