Criticizing of Israel’s Normalization, A Moroccan Blogger Sentenced for Five Years

Rabat, MINA – A Moroccan court has sentenced a blogger to five years in prison for posting on Facebook criticizing the normalization of relations with Israel.

As quoted from the Middle East Monitor on  Friday, lawyer Hassan Al-Sunni said his client, Saeed Boukayoud (48) was punished because his post was considered “offensive” to the King.

The post Boukayoud made while in Qatar in 2020. He criticized the agreement that at the time required Morocco to normalize Israeli relations in exchange for the United States recognizing its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The lawyer explained that once his client learned he was facing charges in Morocco, he deleted the posts and deactivated his account. However, Boukayoud was arrested on his return to Casablanca last week.

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The sentence was based on Article 267-5 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates jail terms ranging from six months to two years for offending the King. However, the sentence can be increased to five years if the offense is committed openly, including online.

Boukayoud was sentenced on Monday, by the Court of First Instance in Casablanca.

Al-Sunni described the verdict as “harsh and incomprehensible”, explaining that his client “convinced the court that he intended to denounce normalization and not offend the King.” (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)