Fishmonger's gruesome death sparks protests in Morocco

Fishmonger's gruesome death sparks protests in Morocco
Al-Hoceima has erupted in protest after a local fishmonger was crushed to death by a rubbish truck in a seemingly freak accident after his produce was confiscated by authorities.
2 min read
30 October, 2016
Authorities are said to have confiscated Mohsen Fikri's produce before the tragic event [AFP]

Protests have erupted in the city of Al-Hoceima in northern Morocco after the death of a fish-seller, crushed in a garbage truck, after authorities confiscated his merchandise.

On Friday, after images of the young man identified as Mohsen Fikri, 31, began circulating on social media, hundreds took to the streets in order to protest his death.

According to numerous reports Fikri was crushed to death in the back of a dumpster attempting to retrieve his merchandise after it was thrown into the rubbish vehicle by authorities. Some sources have also suggested that Fikri became involved in an argument with authorities who asked him to pay a bribe in order to sell his produce. 

Translation: A portion of protests in the city of al-Hoceima. #WeAreAllMohsenFikri

Demonstrations in the city on Friday prompted the appearance of al-Hoceima’s Governor who met with protestors and is said to have since agreed to open an investigation in order to ascertain the precise details behind the fisherman’s death.

Local sources, according to Morocco World News, have also claimed that the local mayor agreed to to sack the deputy of al-Hoceima’s fishing department.

However on Saturday protests in the city, which has a population of over 390,000, remained ongoing. Protestors chanted slogans including “monopoly and marginalisation”, a critique of perceived state self-interest. 

Fikri’s death has inspired considerable outrage among fellow Moroccans on social media with some media outlets including Elaph reporting that demonstrations on Sunday could spread to other Moroccan cities such as Nador, Rabat, Casablanca,Tangier, Fez, Marrakesh, Agadir, Al Rashidiya and Tiznit and Essaouira.

The self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi, a street vendor in Tunisia five years ago after a dispute with police, sparked protests that swept the country, triggering the Tunisian revolution that year. Copycat protests later spread in other Arab nations, in a wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring.

Mohsen Fikri was 31 years old (Screengrab from Twitter)