Dual Moroccan-Italian national handed sentence for blasphemy
A dual Moroccan-Italian citizen has been handed a three-and-half year sentence on blasphemy charges related to sharing a satirical rendition of a well-known verses from Quran online, according to local media.
The 23-year-old woman was also given $6,000 fine for the alleged crime of "insulting Islam". She was accused of distorting the verses of Surat Al Kawthar, by posting an image on Facebook of a blasphemous counterpart, Surat Al Whiskey, in April 2019.
The woman was arrested earlier this month on arrival at Rabat airport from France, having lived abroad for over two years.
She had no knowledge she would be served an arrest warrant on arrival, her father said.
He maintained that his daughter posted the verses without knowing what they meant, because "she is not fluent in Arabic".
He said that during a prison visit he saw how the ordeal had "completely broken her" and expressed intention to appeal the court's conviction.
Her legal woes began when a religious group in Marrakesh filed a complaint against her, her father claimed.
Moroccan law has provisions criminalising blasphemy against Islam, with prison sentences going up to a maximum of two years.
If the offence is committed publicly, including on social media, that rises up to five years.