Morocco recently enacted a law to combat rumors in the light of numerous fake news reports that have emerged alongside the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Rabat – The judicial police in Tangier have arrested two women for their involvement in disseminating false information on suspected cases of COVID-19 through the country’s official hotlines for reporting potential infections.
The women, aged 21 and 22, appeared in a video making a mockery of Morocco’s COVID-19 monitoring system and reporting false infections, according to a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
The two women are in custody for further investigation while police work to arrest others who appeared in the video and all accomplices that misused the hotlines.
Morocco put several hotline numbers in place to serve Moroccan citizens and residents who wish to know updates about the pandemic and to report potential cases.
The Ministry of Interior and Royal Armed Forces (FAR) launched the most recent hotline, Allo 300, on March 25 to address health concerns.
Other hotlines include the Ministry of Health’s “Allo Yakada” and “Allo SAMU 141,” an emergency service.
All hotlines are available 24/7 to receive inquiries.
Morocco enacted Law 22-20, related to the use of social media and open broadcast networks, on March 19 to criminalize the sharing of fake news.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office also instructed courts to strengthen disciplinary measures against perpetrators of fake news about COVID-19 that creates fear and panic among people in Morocco.
Morocco has arrested dozens of suspects involved in spreading fake news. One suspect in Tetouan, northern Morocco, received a two-month prison sentence earlier in March.
Morocco has confirmed 437 cases of COVID-19, including 26 deaths and 12 recoveries as of March 29.