Said Boukioud, a 48-year-old Moroccan man, was sentenced to five years in prison for criticizing the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, in a post he made on Facebook in late 2020 and later deleted. In the post, Boukioud contested the normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel, which began in December 2020 with the mediation of the United States, which led to a strengthening of collaboration between the two countries in various areas, including tourism and security.
The Moroccan penal code punishes behavior considered dangerous for the monarchy with a sentence of between six months and two years in prison, which can go up to five years – as happened in the case of Boukioud – if the offense is committed publicly, for example online . The law is highly criticized by human rights associations and activists: they argue that it limits freedom of expression and that it does not clarify enough what can be considered an “attack” against the monarchy, leaving ample interpretative freedom to the authorities. Boukioud’s lawyer said he had appealed.