Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was crushed to death on October 28, 2016, when he climbed into a garbage compactor truck to retrieve the fish that had been confiscated from him and thrown into the truck by police.
His death has triggered demonstrations in Hoceima and elsewhere in the country, with the protesters blaming police and authorities for the death of the vendor.
Late Wednesday, officers broke up the sit-in rally held in the city center because the demonstrators did not have a permit, Mohamed Bassiri of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) said on Thursday.
Video footage of the protest circulated on social media, showing police chasing fleeing protesters on the city’s main square.
Several demonstrators were arrested but released later, according to the AMDH.
The nationwide protests have now stopped, but activists in Hoceima have continued to call for a thorough investigation into the incident, alongside broader demands for an end to widespread unemployment and corruption.
Fikri’s death has been likened to that of a Tunisian vendor in 2010, which acted as the catalyst to touch off the wave of uprisings and revolutions in the Arab world in 2011.
The uprisings in the Arab world against ruling dictatorships led to the ouster of rulers in neighboring Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. However, the Moroccan king managed to stay in power by forgoing some of his powers.