Walid Bahomane's sentence has been extended from one year to 18 months in prison, while Abdelsamad Haydour's sentence of three years' imprisonment was confirmed on appeal.
(RSF/IFEX) – 28 March 2012 – Reporters Without Borders is appalled that an appeal court in Salé (a city near Rabat) yesterday added six months to the one-year jail sentence that 18-year-old student Walid Bahomane received last month on a charge of “attacking the nation’s sacred values” for posting content on Facebook making fun of the king.
The young netizen will now have to spend a total of 18 months in prison.
The three-year jail sentence that Abdelsamad Haydour received last month on the same charge, for criticizing the king in a video posted on YouTube, was confirmed on 14 March by an appeal court in the northern city of Taza.
Reporters Without Borders deplores these summary and unjust appeal procedures, and the extremely harsh sentences, which will just encourage more self-censorship by netizens.
Morocco fell three places to 138th position in the 2011/2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.