x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Moroccan police break up protests at royal tribute

Moroccan police have broken up a protest demanding more political freedoms and denouncing an annual ceremony honouring the king.

RABAT // Moroccan police have broken up a protest demanding more political freedoms and denouncing an annual ceremony honouring the king.

Dozens of activists gathered in front of parliament in the capital, Rabat, today.

Police blocked the unauthorised gathering, beating protesters with batons. An Associated Press reporter saw people in the crowd, including another journalist, come under blows.

Officials from around the country came to Rabat this week to prostrate themselves before King Mohammed VI.

The elaborate, nationally televised ceremony is considered a near-sacred event in Morocco and usually meets no public resistance.

Moroccan youth took to the streets last year amid uprisings around the Arab world.

The king announced reforms and early elections, but activists are calling for more change.