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Police Clash with Protesters in Morocco

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TEHRAN, May 23 (ICANA) - Several people have been injured as Moroccan police clashed with demonstrators in the capital city of Rabat as well as the country's biggest city, Casablanca.
Monday, May 23, 2011 9:59:29 PM
Police Clash with Protesters in Morocco

Demonstrators wanted to set up camps in front of parliament in Rabat on Sunday but baton-wielding security forces broke up the crowds, causing injuries, Reuters reported.

"We are standing together for dignity. We are against despotism, against corruption. We are for dignity, freedom, democracy and social justice," one protester said.

Police also beat protesters in Casablanca where people chanted slogans against the royal court. They said staging protests was their “legal right.”

Meanwhile, several protesters have been arrested.

Sunday protests come despite a government ban on anti-government demonstrations that started in the African country in February following the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

On Friday, several unemployed graduates managed to push their way through crowds to talk to King Mohammad after Friday prayers to demand jobs. Live broadcast was cut off after people around the king started chanting slogans.

Protests were suppressed on May 15 when activists wanted to hold a rally outside an alleged secret prison. Protesters believed the detainees were tortured by intelligence forces.

King Mohammad vowed in March to make amendments to the constitution to give more social rights to people. A draft constitution is scheduled to be announced in June.

The royal family has ruled the country since seventeenth century. King Mohammad ascended to the throne in 1999.

Many people in Morocco suffer from poverty and nearly half of the country's population of 32 million is illiterate, reports say.

A total of about sixty activists have been injured in Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir, and Tangier, reports say.

Meanwhile, officials put the number of injured at about twenty demonstrators and police officers combined.

Morocco has stepped up crackdowns on demonstrators, who have been demanding reform, freedom and better living conditions.

The Monarchy is desperate to avoid an Egyptian- or Tunisian-style revolution.

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