Protests by pro-democracy groups in Morocco have been violently broken up by police in the capital city Rabat and Casablanca. The demonstrators were calling for a reduction in the powers of the monarchy, a strengthening of the power of the Prime Minister and a reformation of the judicial system.
However the rallies, that took place on Sunday, were quickly dispersed by police armed with batons and shields.
Police forces and the government may have been moving to prevent a mass camp-out similar to that seen earlier this year in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
One senior police officer stated:
“”[w]e have been called here to preserve order because of this unauthorised protest.”
Though the King called for constitutional reform on March 9, with changes expected to be announced in June, this is not the first protest that has been held recently – with demonstrators spurred on by the success of the popular movements in Tunisia and Egypt.