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Amid the tumult of the so-called Arab Spring movements in 2011 which swept from Tunisia to Libya, Egypt and Syria, the pro-democracy ‘February 20th movement’ in Morocco, ruled by an authoritarian monarchy, mobilised hundreds of thousands around the country. After the protests forced King Mohammed VI to agree a number of constitutional reforms that included free elections, the movement soon petered out, and rights groups have denounced the return of a clampdown by the authorities against opposition militants. In this interview with Ilhem Rachidi for Mediapart, Abdellah Lefnatsa, responsible for economic and social rights with the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, details what he calls the “revenge” of the regime with the harassment and jailing of pro-democracy militants, and analyses the failure of the 2011 popular uprising to obtain truly democratic change.
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