Morocco Attacks by Police Officers on the Rise in The Past

Rabat – Over 2600 cases of assault committed by male policemen and other authority figures have been brought before Moroccan courts in the past four years, according to Mohammed Hassad, the Moroccan minister of the interior. Hassan presented the figures during the cabinet’s weekly oral questioning session with the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The minister told the representatives that two years ago, he made the decision to not allow cases against police officers to be dismissed, since the phenomenon had been increasing in incidence. In 2011, citizens lodged, on average, 43 cases against security forces a month, but by 2015, that number increased to 68. The minister linked the cases to instances where police forces intervene to prevent haphazard construction or unauthorized street vendors.  Two cases against municipal leaders have caught the attention of the Moroccan people in recent months: the story of the death of “Mi Faitha” in Kenitra and a video that recorded a local leader in bed with a married woman in Doura, near Casablanca. The minister said the municipal leader of Doura was arrested on February 27th – nearly 1.5 months before media sources began talking about the scandal. Hassad added that officials acting under the command of the ministry of the interior fired him from his job and brought him to face the ministry and the police administration, since his actions were below the standards of conduct for officers.  In relation to the local authority in Kenitra, whose abuse of street vendor “Mi Fatiha” led her to set herself on fire, the minister said the officer had been transferred to “central administration” so as to prevent his interference in the ensuing investigation. Other officers who were present during the woman’s self-immolation have also been distanced from the case. Hassad added that the nature of the police’s job is to carry heavy burdens imposed on them by their duties of maintaining public order and ensuring respect for Morocco’s laws. When the officers see that a law has been broken, the minister said the officers must intervene, which makes the officers also vulnerable to physical and verbal attacks from citizens. read more