Morocco’s King Mohammed has granted a pardon to 672 convicts on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad un Nabi (SAW).
Those pardoned include nine convicted of charges of extremism and terrorism. Five will be freed, while the rest will get reduced sentences.
“These detainees were granted the pardon after revising their ideological orientations and rejecting extremism and terrorism,” said the ministry in its press release.
The pardon has been a staple of religious and national celebrations in Morocco, usually granted to inmates who demonstrated “good manners”.
The New Arab reported that this year around 2,000 inmates in Moroccan prisons were granted royal pardons, namely those convicted in cases related to terrorism.
In 2017, the North African nation launched a reintegration programme called “Moussalaha” (Reconciliation) in its prisons, focusing on inmates convicted of “terrorism” who were willing to requestion their beliefs.
Meanwhile, calls to pardon Hirak Rif uprising detainees have yet to be heard.
The Hirak Rif movement broke out in northern Morocco’s Rif region in 2016 following the crushing to death of fishmonger Mohcine Fikri in a rubbish truck in the presence of authorities.
More than 50 members of the movement were arrested and sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, including Hirak Rif’s icon, Nasser Zefzafi.
To receive a royal pardon in Morocco, the prisoner needs to submit a request in which they admit guilt and seek pardon from the highest authority in the country, with a commitment to not repeat the crime they were convicted of.