The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP), Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have joined in praising the progress of the demonstrations in Morocco, and the regime’s relatively benign response. From an MACP press release:
37,000 Moroccans in largely peaceful march for reform; Amnesty International lauds “maturity” of protesters & police; Human Rights Watch says Morocco’s “calm response” should be “rule, not exception” in volatile region.
HRW added that “Morocco’s demonstrators encountered none of the deadly force utilized by the security forces against protesters in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen. Security forces allowed Moroccan citizens to march peacefully to demand profound changes in how their country is governed.” “We applaud the maturity shown by the Moroccan authorities,” said AI in a statement, adding that “we are satisfied with the behavior of the security forces.” It also praised the “maturity” shown by demonstrators. On Monday, Moroccan officials put the number of protesters nationwide Sunday at 37,000, a moderate turnout for a country that regularly sees much larger demonstrations.
The protests, which are legal in Morocco when sanctioned by the authorities, took the form of sit-ins, rallies, and demonstrations. “In many ways, this was Morocco at its best,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco, Edward Gabriel, who witnessed the demonstration in Rabat. “Protesters were respectful and polite, but intent on expressing their legitimate concerns that government work better for them. They wanted the government to quicken the pace of the far-reaching political, social, and economic reforms Morocco has instituted in the last decade. In most locations, there was no violence, no heavy-handed tactics, just people showing their desire to make Morocco a better place, with more freedom, democracy, and jobs.”