Moroccan activist sentenced to five years in prison for social media posts criticizing Israel

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On Monday, April 8, the Mohammedia Court of First Instance sentenced Abderrahmane Azenkad, a member of Moroccan Islamist association Al Adl wal Ihsane and its Political Circle, to five years' imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 dirhams for social media posts criticizing the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Azenkad was arrested on March 22.

In a press release, the Mohammedia branch of Al Adl wal Ihsane Political Circle denounced the verdict, stating it «comes amid ongoing prosecutions and arrests of activists who express views opposing the Moroccan government's normalization of relations with Israel».

The group's statement highlights a recent similar case. On November 7, 2023, the Casablanca Court of Appeal sentenced Saïd Boukyoud, a Moroccan national living in Qatar, to three years' imprisonment and a fine of 40,000 dirhams for criticizing Morocco's resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel on social media. Boukyoud had described the move as a «betrayal» of the Palestinian cause.

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