Mouhcine Fikri, 31, a Moroccan graduated man has been brutally killed after the police confiscated his fish merchandise.
Being jobless, Fikri resorted to borrowing and he managed to start a small business. According to some witnesses, the police officers called the rubbish truck to damage Fikri’s fish accusing him of selling rotten goods. Some still unproven claims give another version.
It is said that officers asked for a bribe from the fishmonger and once Fikri refused they confiscated his fish. The dramatic event took place when the man tried to retrieve his merchandise and the rubbish constructor started on squeezing the man.
Fikri’s death brought a wide feeling of anger between the inhabitants of Houceimia’s and later between the largest cities of the kingdom. He was considered martyr and the symbol of the poor, mistreated and the marginalized.
Not only did angered people in morocco ask for taking prompt legislative measures against the officers who were accused of grinding Fikri by the rubbish compressor but also they asked the officials to assume their responsibilities towards what is going on. Angry people gathered in a number of cities accused the Makhzen, the governing institution in Morocco of corruption.
The event was largely covered by media outlets and most reports dwelled on the horrible death of the fish seller. Due to the large demonstrations Morocco witnessed the last few days, news agencies and commentators agree upon the fact that this incident can never be a mere event in the history of the kingdom.
Some others started drawing a comparison between Fikri and the young Tunisian vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi who burned himself under similar circumstances and gave birth to the political change in Tunisia, later known the Arab Spring. This is why we started hearing people talking more and more about a possible revolution in morocco made by the victimized and the marginalized.
But how did neighboring countries react to the event?
In Tunisia where a similar case happened six years ago and was considered as the starting point of the Arab Spring there was no clear position towards what happened in Morocco.
Tunisian authorities have not yet indulged in any form of commenting either positively or negatively. The exception however came from the leftist coalition the Popular Front that called for a demonstration in front of the Moroccan embassy in Tunis. On Tuesday October, 1st the members of parliament belonging to the Popular Front gathered in front of the embassy and delivered speeches.
Abdelmoumen Ansi, among those who participated in the march called Fikri a martyr and insisted that the Moroccan people will win the battle to get more rights. He claimed also that no hope remained for the dictator regime to practice his authorities. As the revolution happened in Tunisia, Morocco should follow the same path. He insisted again and again that Tunisian people have no choice but to stand in the side of the poor and the victimized in the world.
In Algeria, however the story is totally different. No one can deny the taut relations between both countries despite the attempts to ease the tension. The late incidents proved that the convergence remains fragile.
Although the Moroccan king congratulated the Algerian president and Algerians behind him on the Algerian Revolution Day, Algerian press reported the Moroccan case in an exceptional way. In an article entitled “the Fishmonger and the Palace,” the Algerian journalist in ElFajer newspaper Hadda Hazem, a well known skillful Algerian journalist who is supposed to report the news in a more professional way and being indulged in any politicization of the event alludes to the incident in a more stereotypical way putting all the blame on the king and his palace.
She describes the king as a careless person who is enjoying his holiday in beaches of Zanzibar and sharing selfies on his facebook account.
The article widens the gap between the two populations rather than shows any real sympathy with the victim Fikri. Again, we should not forget that Moroccans on their part, accused Algerians of fabricating the fake problem of the famous Moroccan singer Saad Mjared. He was accused in Paris of rape attempt against a French girl and they realized later that she is originally Algerian.
This fact makes the struggle between both countries continue and reveals that both countries never miss any opportunity to score goals on counterpart. Mouhcine Fikri, therefore is victimized twice.