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Morocco: Imprisoned singer released

29 September 2017
Singer Silya Ziani, who has been detained since 5 June 2017 for her participation in Rif movement protests, was royally pardoned and released on 29 July.
Photo: Silya Ziani/Facebook

 

Silya Ziani, a 23-year-old singer from Morocco’s northern Rif region, who has been detained since 5 June 2017 for her participation in Rif movement protests, was given a royal pardon and released along with 58 other members of the movement on 29 July, according to Voice Project.

After being released, Silya accused authorities of delaying her passport for no reason but to “silence” her as he applied for a visa to attend and perform at some events in Europe. Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani denied the singer’s claims, saying there was no ban, her application was being processed, and that the delay was caused by “the fact that the request took place in August [the holiday season]”, reported La Depeche on 5 September 2017.

Ziani is a member of the Amazigh (Berber) ethnic group and played a role in leading protests that began in October 2016 in her hometown of Al Hoceima after the brutal death of a local fishmonger, leading protestors to demonstrate against government corruption and their neglect of infrastructure in the region, reported The New York Times.

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