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Rabat – The Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie, on Saturday, April 10, arrested the commune president of Louta, near Al Hoceima — Mekki El Hannoudi, for suggesting to his constituents to disregard the night curfew which is extended during Ramadan.
On April 7, the commune president shared on Facebook with the constituents of his municipality, that “as president of this locality and, therefore, in charge of the administrative police as stipulated by the law and regulations in force, I authorize you to continue to circulate on my territory and go to cafes from the breaking of the fast to [11 p.m.].”
The suggestion goes against Moroccan authorities’ decision to continue the country’s night curfew during Ramadan, as part of preventive measures that seek to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The post from the local official saw more than 20,000 likes and more than 4,000 shares in just one day.
In response, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Al Hoceima decided to open an investigation into the matter. An official statement from the prosecutor’s office read that the investigation was undertaken following “a publication relayed on social networks whose author allows residents to move at the level of the territory under the rural municipality he presides, and to frequent the cafes between the time of Iftar and until [11 p.m.] during the month of Ramadan.”
This is in spite of the fact that “the competent authorities have decided to prohibit any night travel, nationally, between [8 p.m.] and [6 a.m.], and this as part of preventive measures taken to avoid the spread of the pandemic Covid-19, adopted during the month of Ramadan.”
In his defense, El Hannoudi said that the investigation does not “scare him.”
“I respect the public prosecution and the judiciary, and I will answer [questions] with clarity and comfort.”
The commune president of Louta said that Morocco is a civil and democratic state that guarantees the right to discuss and disagree on constitutional, legal, and administrative challenges.
He also noted that the country’s provisions allow citizens to discuss all socio-economic issues that such measures, such as a curfew during Ramadan, may ensue.