Anti-government protests in Morocco planned on Facebook

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rabat, Feb 5 (IANS/AKI) Moroccan authorities have okayed an anti-government protest being planned on the popular social networking site Facebook, a media report said.

The media report said several Moroccan youth movements have announced on Facebook that they are planning to organise an Egypt-style anti-government protest Feb 20, a move apparently welcomed by the government.

“We intend to reassure those who are organising protests on the internet that this is an entirely normal thing and is part of the democratic life of Morocco,” local newspaper Hespress quoted Telecommunications Minister Khaled al-Nasiri as saying.

The protest will counter a rally planned this Sunday by government supporters, which is also being organised on Facebook.

“We are used to such initiatives growing up and have for years been open to freedom of opinion and expression,” al-Nasiri said.

Anti-government protests began in Egypt last week aimed at ousting its President Hosni Mubarak from power and mass protests have also been taking place in Yemen against its President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 30 years.

The protests appear to have drawn inspiration from a revolt in Tunisia which ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from office after over 23 years in power in what was dubbed the ‘Jasmine’ revolution.


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