Rabat. Moroccan administrative authorities have shut down a series of unlicensed headquarters used by the Justice and Spirituality movement (Al Adl Wa Al Ihssan) in several places, including Inezgane, Kenitra, and Casablanca.
A source told Morocco World News that the movement has been using the unlicensed headquarters to hold secret unauthorized meetings.
A member of the group’s political department, Hassan Bennajeh, said on Facebook that the headquarters are located in the cities of Casablanca, Inezgane and Kenitra. Bennajeh said he will give more details once more information is available.
Authorities did not officially comment on the issue.
Members of the Justice and Spirituality group used social media to criticise the authorities’ decision, describing it as “illegal”.
Morocco has banned the movement from political participation because of what the government calls its antagonistic approach towards the Moroccan government. The anti-monarchy movement claims to support democracy of the state but refuses to participate in elections, considering them undemocratic.
The movement was found in the 1980s by Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, a former teacher and the late spiritual guide of the group.
The movement was also active during the most notable protests in Morocco, including the Arab Spring protests in 2011 and the 2016-2017 Hirak Rif protests in the Al Hoceima province in northern Morocco.
In February 2017, Moroccan authorities dismissed some 130 members of the Justice and Spirituality Group from their posts and dismissed imams who belonged to the group from several mosques without providing clarifications.