The controversy of eating in public during Ramadan resurfaced with the first days of this holy month. This came as human rights activists on social networks criticized the arrest of those were eating in public by security forces in some cities.
Yesterday, the security forces in Al-Hoceima arrested a person after he publicly ate. He then was taken into custody pending referral to the prosecutor’s office.
Security officers from the Al Hoceima Security Commission immediately arrested the young man while he was smoking and eating during Ramadan on the city’s beach.
Referring back to the Moroccan Penal Code, Article 222 makes it a crime to eat or drink in public during the month of Ramadan for anyone known to embrace the Islamic religion.
For his part, the Amazigh researcher Ahmed Assid said: “The authorities attack some citizens who are not fasting by arresting them, which is a surreal scene indicating the extent of our backwardness.”
He added in his Facebook post, “The justification of the authority’s behavior is uglier than a wrong step, because it pretends to protect people who do not fast from society. While in reality, it addresses the problems without the real causes. When what is needed is to know the causes of communal violence and not to tolerate it, and to educate people to accept and respect each other in their differences. This will transform Ramadan from an overbearing state of emergency to a sincere popular religion.”