World: Morocco: Two years in prison for a blogger accused of offense to Islam

Drought tightens its grip on Morocco

  Drought tightens its grip on Morocco Mohamed gave up farming because of successive droughts that have hit his previously fertile but isolated village in Morocco and because he just couldn't bear it any longer. But it is not just his village that is suffering -- all of the North African country has been hit. No longer having access to potable running water, the villagers of Ouled Essi Masseoud rely solely on sporadic supplies in public fountains and from private wells."The fountains work just one or two days a week, the wells are starting to dry up and the river next to it is drying up more and more," said Mohamed Sbai as he went to fetch water from neighbours.

L'article 267-5 du Code pénal marocain, aux termes duquel Fatima Karim a été condamnée, punit de six mois à deux ans de prison ferme «quiconque porte atteinte à la religion musulmane». © DR The article 267-5 of the Moroccan Criminal Code, under which Fatima Karim was condemned, punished from six months to two years in prison "anyone who undermines the Muslim religion".

Fatema Karim was sentenced to two years in prison for "attacking the Muslim religion". However, she publicly apologized "to anyone who felt offended" by her words, ensuring that she never wanted to undermine Islam.

Fatema Karim, who presents himself as a secular, had posted on his Facebook, in a satirical tone, comments concerning a verse from the Koran and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, was at the stop since July 15.

Condemned at the end of article 267-5 of the Moroccan penal code which punishes from six months to two years "anyone who undermines the Muslim religion", appealed the judgment pronounced Monday by the court of first instance of Oued Zem , a small town located some 150 km from Casablanca, and defends its right to freedom of expression. Human rights defenders denounce this law which hinders freedom of expression and whose formulation "does not concretely specify the facts which could constitute an attack".

Inside Afghanistan's secret schools, where girls defy the Taliban

  Inside Afghanistan's secret schools, where girls defy the Taliban Nafeesa has discovered a great place to hide her schoolbooks from the prying eyes of her disapproving Taliban brother -- the kitchen, where Afghan men rarely venture. If a Taliban fighter asks, the girls say they are enrolled in a tailoring workshop, and hide their schoolbooks in shopping bags or under their abaya and burqa overgarments. They not only take risks, but also make sacrifices -- Nafeesa's sister dropped out of school to limit any suspicions her brother might have.

"Personally, and as his brother, I consider that the verdict is very severe," says Bouazza Karim, brother of the Moroccan blogger. “As my sister explained, she only express her convictions. His freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution as is the freedom of beliefs at the end of article 3 of the Constitution of the Moroccan kingdom which is an advanced constitution. A constitution "rights and freedoms" as the constitutionalists call it ", he explains to the microphone of Houda Ibrahim, of the Africa service of RFI.

"Severe verdicts"

"We are surprised today by these accusations, and these severe verdicts towards several bloggers who adopt different ideas about Islam. The court did not take into account, neither the state of health of my sister, nor its family conditions, the advance of our country at the level of human rights.

In June 2021, another Moroccan also carrying Italian nationality was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for having published satirical sentences imitating verses from the Koran, but she was released shortly after a campaign protest of human rights defenders.

"I wish to revise its subjects during the next reform of criminal law that we are preparing to make, following the defects noted, especially with regard to the freedoms and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the 2011 Constitution" adds Bouazza Karim.

Western Sahara: Morocco and Tunisia recall their respective ambassadors .
© Tunisian presidency via Reuters Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed receives the leader of the Movement of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, in Tunis, August 26, 2022. Tunisia Announced on Saturday the recall of his ambassador to Morocco, in the wake of a similar decision, the day before, of Rabat with regard to Tunis to protest against the reception in the Tunisian capital of the head of the Sahrawi independence of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali.

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