Moroccan Feb20 Activists on Hunger Strike
Five Moroccan February 20th activists arrested in Casablanca during Sunday’s demonstrations began [Arabic] a hunger strike Thursday to protest their detention and violence against protesters. A court charged [French] the five and one additional activist on Wednesday with insulting and assaulting public officials as well as demonstrating without permission. Lawyers for the activists allege that their clients were tortured during police interrogations. Plain clothes police also arrested Casablanca activist Hamza Badie Wednesday while he was en route to the February 20th general assembly meeting.
Meanwhile, the ruling Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), reelected [French] Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane as party head with 85% of the vote during its annual party convention. As the first party convention since the PJD came to power in November, the convention focused crafting a new strategy emphasizing “realpolitik” as the party shifts away from old opposition tactics of protest.