Stop using force on protesters, Morocco told

2011-05-31 12:32

Brussels - The European Union's executive arm urged Moroccan authorities on Monday to refrain from using force against protesters after police wielded truncheons to break up a pro-reform demonstration.

"We are concerned about the violence used during the demonstrations taking place in Morocco," Natasha Butler, a European Commission spokesperson, told a news briefing.

"We call for restraint in the use of force and respect of fundamental freedoms. Freedom of assembly is a democratic right. We call on Morocco to maintain its track record in allowing citizens to demonstrate peacefully."

The commission urged Moroccan authorities to move forward with their reform agenda and called on "all parties to engage in a peaceful dialogue with a view to finding solutions to the issues raised by the demonstrators".

Around two dozen people were hurt in Casablanca on Sunday when police broke up the protest called by the February 20 Movement, a youth-dominated group leading a wave of protests inspired by uprisings in other Arab nations.