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Morocco judges demonstrate for more independence

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October 6, 2012 12:33 PM EST | AP

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RABAT, Morocco — Around 1,000 Moroccan judges have held an unprecedented sit-in in front of the Supreme Court calling for greater independence for the judiciary.

The rare demonstration was organized by the Judges' Club, a group formed in August 2011 to push for judicial reform.

Club founder Yassine Mkhelli said Saturday that they were demanding laws guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary.

Morocco's new constitution passed last year does give the judicial branch greater powers and independence but it has yet to be implemented.

The Judges' Club is officially banned, but tolerated. It includes about half of the country's 3,000 judges.

Morocco's courts have historically been weak and under the control of the king and his Justice Ministry