Marocco, cinque disoccupati si danno fuoco

giovedì, gennaio 19th, 2012

In Marocco, in cinque si danno fuoco.

Cinque cittadini marocchini si sono dati fuoco a Rabat per denunciare la disoccupazione dilagante nel Paese nordafricano.
Lo ha denunciato l’attivista Youssef al-Rissouni dell’Associazione marocchina per i diritti umani, precisando che tre dei feriti sono stati trasferiti in ospedale. I cinque uomini stavano partecipando a un’occupazione, in corso da un paio di settimane, della sede del ministero dell’Istruzione come parte della protesta per chiedere ulteriori posti di lavoro, ha detto l’attivista. Due di loro sono in gravi condizioni.
Il giornale online Goud riferisce che hanno riportato ustioni di secondo grado e verranno mandati nel reparto grandi ustionati dell’ospedale di Casablanca. Dei cinque, solo tre sono stati ricoverati, mentre gli altri due sono rimasti illesi.
Video postati online dopo l’incidente mostrano almeno una persona che si contorce ricoperta dalle fiamme e in alcune foto si vedono invece uomini con ampie parti del corpo bruciate. L’autoimmolazione è diventata frequente nel mondo arabo dopo l’episodio del venditore ambulante Mohammed Bouazizi che si è dato fuoco il 17 dicembre del 2010 in Tunisia, nel villaggio di Sidi Bouzid, dando il via alle rivolte della Primavera araba.
La scorsa settimana quattro persone si sono date fuoco in Tunisia per protestare contro la disoccupazione e una di loro è morta per le ferite riportate.
Il Marocco ha registrato negli ultimi tempi un aumento delle proteste per la disoccupazione soprattutto tra i laureati.
Mentre il tasso di disoccupazione è pari a solo il 9,1 per cento a livello nazionale, questo dato raggiunge il 16 per cento per i laureati.

By PAUL SCHEMM | AP

Published: Jan 19, 2012 16:39 Updated: Jan 19, 2012 20:56

RABAT, Morocco: Five unemployed Moroccan men set themselves on fire in the capital Rabat as part of widespread demonstrations in the country over the lack of jobs, especially for university graduates, a rights activist said Thursday. Three were burned badly enough to be hospitalized.

Once rare, self-immolation became a tactic of protest in the Middle East and North Africa ever since a vegetable seller in Tunisia set himself on fire in December 2010 to protest police harassment, setting off an uprising that toppled the government and sparked similar movements elsewhere in the region.

The Moroccans were part of the “unemployed graduates” movement, a loose collections of associations across the country filled with millions of university graduates demanding jobs. The demonstrations are often violently dispersed by police and in some towns and cities have resulted in sustained clashes.

While the official unemployment rate is only 9.1 percent nationally, it rises to around 16 percent for graduates.

Around 160 members of the movement have been occupying an administrative building of the Ministry of Higher Education for the past two weeks in Rabat as part of their protest. Supporters would bring them food until two days ago when security forces stopped them.

“The authorities prevented them from receiving food and water, so five people went outside to get food and threatened to set themselves on fire if they were stopped,” said Youssef Al-Rissouni of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights.

Of the three who were hospitalized, two were in serious condition, while the other two just had their clothing singed, he added.

Online videos of the incident show at least one person writhing while covered in flames. Photos afterwards showed men with large sections of their skin burned. The online newspaper Goud reported that two of the men had second degree burns and were going to be sent to the Casablanca burn unit.

While the Moroccan economy has posted steady growth rates for the last several years of around 4 to 5 percent, it has been unable create enough jobs for the growing numbers of young people entering the work force every year.

The self-immolation of Tunisia’s Mohammed Bouazizi in the hardscrabble town of Sidi Bouzid in December 2010 became the symbol of the depths of despair to which the poor of North Africa and the Middle East have sunk. Last week, four more people set themselves on fire in Tunisia, including a father of three who died from his burns.

Moroccans elected a new Islamist government in November which ran on a platform of social justice and tackling unemployment.

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