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ANHRI: Moroccan school boy jailed for lack of respect for the king
ANHRI: Moroccan school boy jailed for lack of respect for the king
ANHRI: Moroccan school boy jailed for lack of respect for the king, sentenced to jail for writing "God, my homeland, Bar?a".
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly condemns the sentence handed down by the Moroccan courts in Marrakesh, to imprison the eighteen year old school boy Yassine Bellassal for writing the motto, "God, my homeland and Barça" on the blackboard. This was a corruption of the motto "God, my homeland and the King" which is the national motto of Morocco and showed his enthusiasm for the Spanish football team of that name
Sunday, October 26,2008 08:06
ANHRI.Net

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly condemns the sentence handed down by the Moroccan courts in Marrakesh, to imprison the eighteen year old school boy Yassine Bellassal for writing the motto, "God, my homeland and Barça" on the blackboard. This was a corruption of the motto "God, my homeland and the King" which is the national motto of Morocco and showed his enthusiasm for the Spanish football team of that name.

The headmaster of Ait Orir school came into the classroom while Yassine was writing on the board and immediately rushed to report him to the police, instead of discussing the matter with the boy himself. The police referred him to the public prosecutor, who immediately took the matter to court, without benefit of a lawyer and without informing his family. The court sentenced him to prison for eighteen months, charging him with "lacking respect due to the king".

The Arabic Network for Human Rights asks "Has this boy committed a crime? Should he be sent to jail for such behaviour? When did school headmasters turn into informers? The label of criminal which they have attached to this pupil more appropriately fits the behaviour of those who have sent him to jail. They have forgotten the value of dialogue and the respect due to freedom of expression particularly in the minds of Yassine Bellassal should be released immediately and without delay."

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression

 


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