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Morocco pro-reform activists jailed for up to year

AFP , Thursday 22 May 2014
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A court in the Moroccan city of Casablanca on Thursday sentenced 11 pro-reform activists to jail terms of up to one year for violence against police during an unauthorised protest in April.

Five of those convicted from the "February 20" movement were handed one-year terms, four others were jailed for six months and the other two received two-month suspended sentences.

The nine main defendants were ordered to pay a total of 50,000 dirhams (4,500 euros) in fines to the national security services which filed a civil case.

They were arrested on April 6 during a march by some 10,000 participants in Casablanca called by trade unions in protest at the policies of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane.

Human rights group say they were arrested for having chanted anti-regime slogans, while a police source said five members of the security forces had been attacked and injured.

The February 20 movement, born during the Arab Spring of 2011, seeks social and political reforms in Morocco, while authorities say most of its demands were met in a new constitution adopted that year at King Mohamed VI's initiative.

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