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Moroccan police arrest 20 over allegations of sexual assault at music festival

Moroccan police arrest 20 over allegations of sexual assault at music festival
Members of the Jamaican reggae fusion band "Third World" (L to R) Maurice ...   -  
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The Moroccan police have arrested 20 people after violence broke out at a major urban music festival in Casablanca last weekend.

the police however in a statement on Monday (03 October) denied allegations of sexual assaults committed during the festival that were shared on social networks, saying they had not received any complaints or reports.

The 20 people arrested are accused of "drunkenness on the public road", "theft" and "assault and battery" during concerts on Friday, the opening night of the second part of the urban music festival L'Boulevard, which turned into a nightmare for thousands of spectators.

The event, held in a stadium in Casablanca, was marred by outbursts and acts of vandalism, according to various accounts by festival-goers. Some also reported sexual assaults and rape, unconfirmed allegations that sparked outrage among Internet users.

While the police have denied "misleading rumors" -- according to which "a minor was raped and other victims undressed during the concert" -- the festival organizers have asked for an official investigation.

In a statement issued Saturday (01 October), they said "take very seriously the publications on social networks reporting rape" and "strongly condemn all forms of gender-based and sexual violence.

According to them, the evening of Friday dedicated to the Moroccan rap scene, very popular with youth, has experienced a massive influx that has overwhelmed the security service.

Casablanca police continue to search for those involved in the violence by examining video surveillance cameras.

Founded in 1999, L'Boulevard, a free annual gathering, is one of Morocco's most popular urban music festivals, showcasing the local rap, metal, and fusion scenes.

After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it ran through October 2.

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