Moroccan-Italian citizen jailed on charges of insulting Islam is freed

She was convicted for "insulting Islam" after sharing on Facebook Arabic phrases

Moroccan Court. [Photo: MWN]
A dual Moroccan-Italian citizen jailed for three and a half years for “insulting Islam” will walk free Monday after a court gave her a suspended two-month jail term, a rights group said.

“She will be leaving prison Monday evening,” a member of Morocco’s Association of Human Rights in Marrakesh, Omar Arbib, told AFP.

The 23-year-old woman was arrested in June at Rabat airport when she arrived from France and sentenced later that month to three and a half years in jail.

The Marrakesh appeals court on Monday overturned the sentence, handing her a suspended two-month jail term, Arbib said. A fine of almost $6,000 euros was also scrapped.

She was convicted for “insulting Islam” after sharing on Facebook Arabic phrases imitating an extract from the Qur’an “without knowing the content because she is not fluent in Arabic,” her father said at the time.

Legal proceedings began after a religious association in Marrakesh submitted a complaint against her.

Article 267 of Morocco’s penal code stipulates a sentence of between six months and two years in prison for the offense of “insulting Islam,” but the penalty increases to a maximum of five years if the offense is committed in public, including via electronic platforms.

Rome welcomed the news of the court’s decision, with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio thanking Italian diplomats and European Affairs Undersecretary Enzo Amendola for their work on the case, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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