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A new two-year prison sentence for a Moroccan activist arrested for Facebook posts


A Moroccan court sentenced activist Saida Alami to two years in prison, on the grounds of statements deemed offensive to the king and the judiciary, according to her defense, Thursday.

Her lawyer, Ahmed Ait Benasser, told Agence France-Presse that Al-Alami “was being prosecuted by two chapters of the criminal code that punishes ‘insulting the person of the king’ and ‘judicial officials or public officials’ on the grounds of statements she made during her interrogation during her trial” earlier.

He added that the Court of First Instance in Casablanca decided on Wednesday night to convict her of two years imprisonment.

The 49-year-old activist was arrested in March 2022 on several charges, including “broadcasting and distributing false allegations and facts to people with the intent to defame them,” and “insulting public officials on the occasion of carrying out their duties,” on the background of her Facebook posts.

In this first case, she was sentenced to two years in prison, before the sentence was raised to three years on appeal.

However, human rights organizations considered that she was tried because of her opinions, calling for her release. Her posts included criticism of security officials and “corruption in the judiciary,” according to Amnesty International earlier.

“We do not know at present whether the two penalties will be combined or not, given that the verdict in the second case is not final,” her lawyer, Souad Brahma, explained.

Alami was active within the “Coalition of Moroccan Women Against Political Arrest”, which specifically calls for the release of journalists Taoufik Bouachrine, Suleiman Raissouni and Omar Radi, who are serving various prison sentences for their conviction in cases of “sexual assault” as well as “espionage” for the latter.

In response to criticism by Moroccan and foreign human rights activists regarding the prosecution of these journalists, the Moroccan authorities confirm that they have been tried in cases unrelated to freedom of the press, stressing the independence of the judiciary, while lawyers for the civil party in these cases stress the “rights of the victims.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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