Activist jailed over ‘insulting’ Facebook post
Publish date: 13 January 2020
Issue Number: 855
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A Moroccan activist has been sentenced to two years in prison for ‘insulting the national flag and the symbol of the state’ in a Facebook post. Abdelali Bahmad was arrested in mid-December and charged over the October Facebook post in which he said he 'could not afford to buy the matches to burn the Moroccan flag as he needed to eat’, according to the charge sheet in the Khenifra court. On Thursday, a group of human rights defenders condemned ‘a campaign of repression’ aimed at ‘terrorising social media users’. A report on the News24 site notes that it listed a dozen convictions in the past two months for posts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter that ‘disagree with the state, criticise its polices or express anger’.