Moroccan King Mohammed VI takes part in festivities marking the birth of crown prince Moulay al-Hassan. File photo/ AFP
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has marked 20 years on the throne by pardoning thousands of prisoners, including some from the “Hirak” protest movement that rocked the country in 2016.
On the eve of the royal anniversary on Tuesday, an official statement announced 4,764 people were to be pardoned including some detained during the months of protests in the long-marginalised northern Rif region.
No further details were given.
The Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or “Popular Movement,” was sparked by the death of a fisherman but soon spiralled into demands for more development and action against corruption and unemployment.
More than 400 protesters are thought to have been arrested and tried in connection with the demonstrations, but no official figures are available. Around 250 of them have previously been pardoned.
On Monday night the king also pledged a government reshuffle and an injection of “new blood” into political and administrative positions to help tackle inequality.
In a speech at his palace in the northern city of Tetouan, the 55-year-old monarch, who succeeded his father Hassan II in 1999, welcomed progress in infrastructure and freedoms in the country but said the efforts had not had “sufficient impact.”
A new constitution passed by a July 2011 referendum strengthened the powers of the prime minister and parliament.
But the king retains overall authority as head of state, chief of the military and the country’s top Islamic authority as well as tight control over key sectors of the economy.
A Thai anti-junta activist who spent more than two years behind bars for insulting the country’s monarchy by sharing an unflattering BBC article about the king walked free Friday on a royal pardon.
Abdelkader Ouazzani, the last of Morocco's brocade master weavers, has been repeating the same gestures for 63 years in his dilapidated workshop in the heart of the old city of Fes.
Nora, who reportedly had an ugly break-up with actor Angad Bedi, expressed her views when she appeared on an episode of the show "By Invite Only" on zoOm Styled by Myntra. The episode will air on Saturday, read a statement.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency, citing the Saudi State Security Presidency, identified the dead man as Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Shehri.
The company faces about 38,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
The age group 30-40 years accounted for the largest number of permits issued (15,807 permits) which is equal to 41 percent of permits issued to all other age groups.