Moroccan police arrested the journalist, who was on provisional release, on December 26 for a tweet condemning the sentences of Hirak Rif activists.
Rabat – A Moroccan court handed a four-month suspended sentence and a MAD 500 ($52) fine to Moroccan journalist Omar Radi on Tuesday, March 17, on charges of insulting a judge on Twitter.
Police arrested Radi on December 26 after he posted a tweet condemning the 1 to 20-year sentences that activists of Hirak Rif movement in the Al Hoceima province received in 2018.
The journalist spent five days in jail until leaving on provisional release on December 31.
The Casablanca Court of Appeals upheld prison sentences of up to 20 years for the activists who participated in “unauthorized” protests in the Al Hoceima province in 2016 and 2017, a popular movement known as Hirak Rif.
“Let us all remember Appeals Judge Lahcen Tolfi, the enforcer against our brothers,” Radi tweeted in April 2019. “In many regimes, small-time henchmen like him come back begging, later, claiming they were only ‘carrying out orders.’ No forgetting or forgiveness with such undignified officials!”
Rights groups condemned Radi’s sentence today, with Amnesty International saying that the journalist should have never been behind bars.
MENA Regional Director at Amnesty International, Heba Morayef, said the journalist “should never have been put on trial in the first place or sentenced for expressing peaceful views on social media.”