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US News Morocco: Prison firm for a blogger accused of offense to Islam

23:50  16 august  2022
23:50  16 august  2022 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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A Moroccan blogger, Fatema Karim, 39, was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday for "attacking the Muslim religion".

An Moroccan blogger was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison for "attack on the Muslim religion" after posting publications on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, her brother announced on Tuesday.

"This verdict is very severe"

Fatema Karim, 39, had been interviewed by the police on July 15 and had been in detention since, said Bouazza Karim.

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She was tried for commenting on a satirical tone, in the Arabic language on her Facebook page, verses from the Koran and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, considered sacred in the Muslim tradition.

The blogger, who intends to appeal, excited her right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by the Moroccan Constitution, before the judge, added her brother.

She also publicly apologized to "Whoever felt offended" by her publications, ensuring that he had never intended to undermine Islam, a state religion in Morocco.

The prison sentence was pronounced on Monday by the Court of First Instance of Oued Zem, 150 km from Casablanca.

“This verdict is very severe. He returns us backwards ”, regretted Bouazza Karim.

The prosecution was triggered by the prosecution.

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Article 267-5 of the Moroccan Criminal Code, under which Fatima Karim was sentenced, punishes from six months to two years in prison "anyone who undermines the Muslim religion".

The sentence is likely to be brought to five years' imprisonment if the offense is committed in public - "including electronic means".

Hops for freedom of expression

The same article 267 severely punishes all "damage to the monarchical regime" and all "incentive to undermine territorial integrity" of the kingdom.

Human rights defenders denounce this law which hinders freedom of expression and whose formulation "does not concretely specify the facts which could constitute an attack".

In June 2021, an Italo-Moroccan had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison by Moroccan justice for "attack on the Muslim religion" after having published satirical sentences on Facebook imitating verses from the Koran.

The young woman had been released shortly after, her sentence having been reduced on appeal to two months suspended prison sentence, following a protest campaign of human rights defenders.

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This is interesting!