Moroccan courts condemned some of the convicts to custodial sentences and to pay fines.
Rabat – Moroccan courts have prosecuted 4,835 individuals for violating the state of emergency since the implementation of the law enforcing it on March 24, announced the Moroccan Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The legal proceedings fall within the framework of Law 2.20.292 on the provisions relating to the state of emergency, the office said in a press release. Of the thousands who faced charges, Morocco detained 334 until their day in court.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office also noted that police arrested 263 violators between the beginning of the state of emergency on March 20 and the night before Law 2.20.292’s implementation on March 24, bringing the number of offenders to 5,098.
Moroccan courts condemned some of the convicts to custodial sentences and to pay fines, the statement added.
Under Law 2.20.292, those convicted of violating the state of emergency will receive a sentence ranging from one to three months in prison and a fine of MAD 300 to MAD 1,300 ($30 to $132).
In the context of the new law, security services have opened 81 judicial investigations. Fifty-eight led to 58 legal proceedings, and 23 remain under investigation.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office reiterated its commitment to enforcing the law without hesitation against violators who represent a danger to public health.
As soon as the Ministry of the Interior declared the state of emergency, the secretary general of the presidency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Hicham Balaoui, sent circulars to prosecutor’s offices, telling them to ensure the rigorous application of Law 2.20.292.
The state of emergency means that citizens cannot go out to public spaces without authorization.
The authorization Moroccans need to have is an “exceptional movement permit” which they can fill out, sign, and get an official stamp on to use whenever they need to leave their homes.
The Ministry of the Interior also posted an e-version of the permit ready for download on its website and sent local authorities to give citizens copies of the permit in their homes.
Some residents received authorization forms in the first few days of the announcement of the emergency state, which they must carry at all times when in public, such as to go grocery shopping or buy medicine.
Balaoui suggested the possibility of delivering harsher penalties for acts stipulated in the Criminal Code, such as attacking or resisting public forces while walking on the street without authorization, punishable by a sentence of between six months and two years’ imprisonment.
He also sent circulars to public prosecutors to deal with the phenomenon of fake news.
Morocco is enforcing the state of emergency to limit the movement of citizens and residents and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected 735 and killed 47 in the country.