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Morocco: jail upheld on appeal for blogger accused of "undermining Islam" - lawyer

Morocco: jail upheld on appeal for blogger accused of "undermining Islam" - lawyer
The local prison of Sale   -  
Copyright © africanews
Mosa'ab Elshamy/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press


The Moroccan justice confirmed Tuesday evening in appeal a heavy prison sentence for an Internet user accused of "undermining the Islamic religion" after posting on Facebook writings deemed offensive, said the defense.

"The Court of Appeal of Khouribga sentenced Fatima Karim to two years in prison, confirming the judgment of the first instance," her lawyer, Habib Aadi, told AFP.

"It is a very harsh verdict," said Mr. Aadi, adding that the appeal in cassation is "still under consideration.

In detention since mid-July, Fatima Karim, 39, was prosecuted for having commented in a satirical tone in Arabic on her Facebook page on verses of the Koran and hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, considered sacred in the Muslim tradition.

The Moroccan Internet user was sentenced on August 15 to two years in prison for "electronically attacking religion" by the court of the first instance in Oued Zem, 150 km from the megalopolis of Casablanca.

The appeal trial opened on September 6 but was immediately adjourned so that the defendant could appear in court.

In the trial court, she asserted her right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by the Moroccan constitution.

She had also publicly apologized to "anyone who felt offended" by her publications, assuring that she never intended to undermine Islam, the state religion in Morocco.

The prosecution was triggered by the public prosecutor.

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

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