Moroccan YouTuber arrested for 'public insults' after criticising king

Moroccan YouTuber arrested for 'public insults' after criticising king in viral anti-corruption video
2 min read
05 December, 2019
Mohamed Sekkaki, known as Moul Kaskita, was detained after publishing a video in which he criticised King Mohammed VI, considered 'inviolable' by the kingdom's constitution.
Mohamed Sekkaki, known as Moul Kaskita, was detained on Sunday after criticising the king. [Getty]
A YouTube star in Morocco was arrested and appeared in court this week for "insulting Moroccans and constitutional institutions" in a video criticising corruption and nepotism in the country.

Mohamed Sekkaki, known as Moul Kaskita, was detained on Sunday after publishing a video in which he criticised King Mohammed VI, considered "inviolable" by the kingdom's constitution.

In the 12 minute YouTube video, Sekkaki said the monarch's speeches were not followed by results, while Moroccans suffered from clientelism and nepotism.

Sekkaki, whose frequent broadcasts normally attract over 100,000 views, also insulted his compatriots, calling them ignorant and donkeys who "watch their rights being flouted without saying a word".

The public prosecutor said it had "received several complaints" from citizens concerned by the video, which "included insults and degrading descriptions". 

When Sekkaki was arrested in the city of Settat south of Casablanca, "a small amount of drugs" was found in his possession, the prosecutor said.

He will be prosecuted for "public insults against individuals, indecent exposure through obscene gestures and behaviour, contempt of constitutional institutions and possession of drugs".

"Many of the expressions in this video have nothing to do with freedom of expression and constitute crimes punishable by law," the prosecutor said.

Sekkaki "received significant transfers of money from abroad in return for his activities", the prosecutor claimed.

His arrest comes less than a week after a Moroccan rapper was sentenced to a year in prison for "insulting a public official" in a video published online.

Mohamed Mounir, known as Gnawi, was arrested last month shortly after publishing a song denouncing injustice and money-grabbing that attacked the king directly.

Amnesty International called Gnawi's verdict "disgraceful".

"There can be no justification for imprisoning the Moroccan rapper Gnawi for a year simply because he exercised his right to freedom of expression," Amnesty International said.

Young people make up a third of Morocco's 35 million inhabitants. A quarter of those aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed and out of school, according to official figures.

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