Moroccan-Italian sentenced to three and a half years in prison for ‘insulting Islam’

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A dual Moroccan-Italian national has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for “insulting Islam,” after unintentionally publishing satire of Koranic verses on Facebook, her father said Wednesday.

Arrested earlier this month at Rabat airport when she arrived from France, the 23-year-old woman “did not know” that she was the subject of an arrest warrant, according to her father, who requested anonymity for himself and his daughter.

In April 2019, the woman shared on Facebook Arabic phrases imitating an extract from the Koran, “without knowing the content, because she is not fluent in Arabic,” he said.

Legal proceedings began after a religious association in Marrakesh submitted a complaint against her.

The young woman was on Monday handed a prison term of three and a half years, along with a fine of almost $6,000, for “insulting the Islamic religion,” her father said.

“I visited her today, she is completely broken – they have ruined her future,” he lamented.

The family intends to appeal.

Article 267 of Morocco’s penal code stipulates a sentence of between six months and two years in prison for the offence of “insulting Islam,” but the penalty increases to a maximum of five years if the offence is committed in public, including via electronic platforms.

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