The suspect posted false content on social networks, calling into questions the measures Morocco set up to fight the pandemic.
Rabat – Moroccan police in Fez arrested on Friday a 62-year-old man for his alleged involvement in sharing fake news and for questioning the COVID-19 preventive measures Morocco set up to contain the spread of the virus.
The suspect published digital content as well as “edited photos containing erroneous data” to question the preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, said a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
“The publications also included insults and outrages against constituted bodies and constitutional institutions,” the statement, quoted by Moroccan television channel 2M, continued.
Fez police put the suspect in custody for a preliminary investigation to determine the circumstances of the case.
Morocco’s security services have arrested several suspects for sharing fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak in the country in March.
The arrests are in line with Morocco’s security approach to fight against fake COVID-19 news that seeks to spread panic and fear among citizens.
One famous case is that of “Mi Naima,” a Moroccan YouTube influencer. The 48-year-old woman shared a video in March claiming COVID-19 does not exist.
Moroccan police arrested her on March 18 for inciting people to not comply with the preventive measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
A similar case emerged in June, when the Court of First Instance in Safi convicted a Moroccan woman who claimed online that COVID-19 does not exist. The judge sentenced her to one month in prison.
Fake news on the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Morocco and around the world even as cases and deaths stack up.
The COVID-19 situation in Morocco has recently worsened as the country continues to report over 1,000 new cases of the virus daily.
Morocco has confirmed 60,056 total COVID-19 cases as of August 29, including 44,618 recoveries and 1,078 deaths.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health announced recently that the country ranked third in Africa in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 49th globally.
In terms of deaths related to COVID-19, Morocco ranks 49th globally and fifth in Africa.
The country is also 31st globally and second in Africa in terms of conducting COVID-19 screening tests.