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Moroccan historian and rights activist Maati Monjib sentenced to one year in prison

Moroccan historian and rights activist Maati Monjib sentenced to one year in prison
Maati Monjib addressing journalist   -  
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STR/AFP

Morocco

Moroccan historian and human rights defender Maati Monjib has been sentenced to one year in prison for "fraud" and "undermining state security" by a Rabat court, his lawyer said Thursday.

The 60-year-old intellectual and his lawyers Abdelaziz Nouidi alleged that they were not informed that the verdict was going to be issued on Wednesday.

Mr. Monjib, who has in the past openly accused the Moroccan government of "terrorizing" journalists and opposition, was at liberty until his arrest in late December on suspicions of "money laundering".

Wednesday's ruling also involves six other Moroccan journalists and human rights activists. The state lawyers claimed that all the concerned parties were made aware of the verdict and the information published on the Judicial website.

Other hearings on misappropriations related to the management of a center created by Mr. Monjib to promote independent journalism, were postponed till further notice.

Among the accused, three were sentenced to one year in prison, another to three months in jail and the last two will have to pay fines of $557. Mr. Monjib was also charged a fine of $1672.

Since his arrest, several international and Moroccan human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have called for his immediate and unconditional release.

Among the many challenges he faced was the travel ban issued against him to investigate “financial violations” in 2015. Last year, he went on a hunger strike after the Institute of African Studies, where he teaches history, threatened to fire him. And now, he is arrested for money laundering.

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