Suspended jail for Moroccan writers

A court in Casablanca has handed down three-year suspended jail terms to two journalists for defaming Islam and breaching public morality in jokes published in a Moroccan magazine.

Suspended jail for Moroccan writers
The court also ordered the payment of damages of 80,000 dirhams ($9,320) for "defamation against Islam and the  monarchy".

The ruling on Monday also banned the weekly magazine Nichane from publishing for two months.

The contentious jokes featured the Prophet Muhammad, the late Moroccan King Hassan II, Islamists and Moroccans in an article entitled: How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics.

Prosecutors put Driss Ksikes, the editor-in-chief, and Sanae al-Aji, the writer, on trial for "damaging the Islamic religion, lacking proper respect for the king and publishing of writings contrary to public morals"  in the weekly magazine.


Al-Aji, the first female reporter to stand trial in Morocco, said the

jokes were in common usage among Moroccan people and were not part of her own beliefs.


Nichane, which means forthright, was launched last September as a weekly magazine published in Morocco's local darija dialect.


The controversial piece was published as a cover story in the magazine's special edition in early December.


The magazine's lawyer, Chawki Benyoub, said he would appeal against the ruling.


International media rights groups had widely condemned the trial of the two journalists as a violation of press freedom.


The weekly is owned by a news group that also publishes the irreverent French-language magazine TelQuel.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16