Nine protesters who participated in the 2017-2018 protest against the "death mines" in the former mining town of Jerada in Morocco were sentenced to between three and five years in prison closes by a Moroccan court, reported Friday, media, citing their lawyer.
Five of them were sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison and another four to three years, said their lawyer, Abdelhak Benkada.
They have all been imprisoned since mid-March, in the wake of the protest movement in Jerada.
According to the lawyer, 95 people have so far been arrested as a result of these demonstrations, of which 25 have already been tried.
Three defendants appearing free also "received sentences ranging from one to six months suspended sentence," added the lawyer.
Jerada, one of the poorest municipalities in Morocco, according to official statistics, was shaken last year by a social protest after the death of miners in wells at the end of December 2017, followed by two other deaths in similar conditions.
The inhabitants were already demanding an alternative to the mines, where hundreds of miners were daily used to extract charcoal in an artisanal way in order to sell it to local traders, locally known as "barons" and endowed with marketing permits.
About 100 people were arrested following demonstrations, prison sentences were passed and trials are still ongoing.
Before the closure of the mine, the mining activity employed some 9,000 workers and was the main economic source of Jerada.
Human Rights Watch accused Morocco in June of carrying out a "crackdown" in the former mining city, citing "excessive use of force" in the face of demonstrations, "abusive" arrests and treatment of prisoners.