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Rights groups criticise prosecution of Moroccan novelist

August 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

Prison cells, 20 June 2016 [Derek Key/Flickr]

Two Moroccan rights groups have criticised the prosecution of a novelist after he was accused of defamation, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

Media and Expression Liberties Organisation and House of Wisdom, both NGOs, criticised the prosecution in separate statements, calling it a “crackdown on freedom of expression and creativity.”

On 2 August, the first instance court in the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate handed down a two month suspended sentence to Aziz Benhaddouch in addition to a fine of 1,000 dirham ($272) on charges of “libel and defamation”.

He was also ordered to pay 20,000 dirhams ($5,445) in compensation to the complainants.