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Authorities prevent protesting medical students from travelling to Rabat ahead of sit-in

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What was supposed to be a routine night trip for medical students from Agadir, Oujda and Laayoune to Rabat turned into a harrowing ordeal on Wednesday, as authorities abruptly prevented their buses from leaving towards the capital.

Sources close to Hespress English revealed that the students’ plans for a peaceful sit-in in Rabat were shattered when their buses were inexplicably prohibited from departing, later to be towed away to a junkyard, leaving them stranded and disoriented.

A circulating online video depicts scenes of medical students in Oujda wandering the streets at midnight, their hopes of reaching Rabat dashed.

One student’s voice can be heard in the video, crying and trembling with emotion, recounting how authorities abruptly stopped their buses and instructed them to disperse.

Confirming this distressing account, another medical student in Oujda, who was among those prevented from leaving for Rabat, recounted the ordeal to Hespress English.

“As we arrived at the bus station, we were met with a heavy presence of police trucks and local authorities, but initially, no one approached us,” shared Marouane, a medical student.

“We took the initiative to inquire if there was an issue, and they reassured us that everything was in order,” Marouane added.

The situation quickly escalated as they boarded the buses. Marouane recounted how authorities approached the bus drivers, preventing them from departing, confiscating their documents, and sending the buses off to a junkyard.

Left stranded in the cold, the students were forced to seek refuge in each other’s homes, with some households accommodating over 20 or 30 students.

“When we sought clarification from the authorities, they refused to engage with us, insisting they could only communicate with the bus drivers,” stated the medical student.

According to the student, conflicting explanations were provided by the authorities, with some claiming there was an order preventing their departure, while others denied any such directive.

“Not only were we prevented from using the buses, but police trucks also chased groups of students through the streets in an attempt to disperse us,” the medical student added.

Medical students have been demonstrating against the reduction of medical training years from 7 to 6, calling for the improvement of the quality of their education and training.

Their protests are ongoing with a scheduled sit-in today in front of Parliament.

These protests have stirred up some contention, particularly following remarks made by the Minister of Higher Education, Abdellatif Miraoui, saying that the students are being influenced by certain unspecified ‘entities.’

The medical students responded to these accusations by saying that they have no personal motives or ties to any political groups and that none of the medical students are familiar with the Al Adl wal Ihsan party. “Our concerns lie solely in improving the quality of education and training. We are simply students and Moroccan citizens, advocating for our rightful demands,” said Yassir Derkaoui, President of the medical student office in Rabat during a seminar organized on Monday.

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