Moroccan activist jailed

Moroccan Activist Jailed for Criticizing Israel Ties: Outcry Over Freedom of Speech

Abdul Rahman Zankad, a Moroccan activist who criticized Morocco’s decision to normalize relations with Israel, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Zankad was arrested in March after posting on Facebook about the Israel’s war in Gaza and Morocco’s 2020 decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

A court found him guilty of insulting a constitutional institution and incitement, and fined 50,000 Moroccan dirhams ($5,000). The Moroccan Space for Human Rights called the charges baseless and said the proceedings violated Zankad’s right to a fair trial.

Tens of thousands of protesters across the political spectrum have taken to the streets in Morocco to denounce Israel and express support for Palestinian political groups. Morocco was one of four Arab nations to establish ties with Israel in 2020, as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

Human rights associations have raised concerns about a rise in prosecutions stemming from online posts in recent years. Zankad is a member of Morocco’s banned but tolerated Islamist association, Al Adl Wal Ihsane, which has been a driving force behind many of the country’s protests since the war began.

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