Skyline Expresses Deep Concern Over Unjust Court Hearing of Moroccan Human Rights Advocate Saida El-Alami, Highlighting the Need to Protect Freedom of Expression
Skyline International Foundation for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the upcoming court hearing of Saida El-Alami a prominent Moroccan advocate for human rights and women's rights. Tomorrow, she will be appealing a two-year prison sentence that was unjustly imposed on her for simply exercising her right to freedom of expression. Regrettably, her family is apprehensive that her sentence might be extended, causing further distress and hardship. This situation highlights the urgent need to protect and uphold human rights in Morocco, particularly the right to express oneself freely without fear of persecution or punishment.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, Skyline brings attention to the deeply concerning case of Moroccan human rights activist Saida El-Alami, who has been subjected to an unjust and troubling sentence of two years in prison merely for exercising her fundamental right to express her views on social media. This verdict not only raises serious concerns about the state of freedom of expression in Morocco, but it also highlights the urgent need for enhanced protection of human rights and the preservation of democratic principles within the country's legal system.
Saida El-Alami was sentenced to two years in prison in April 2022 for denouncing the repression of journalists and activists by Moroccan authorities on Facebook. In August 2022, the Court of Appeals increased her sentence to 3 years.
In april 2023, the prosecution again charged Al-Alami with insulting the king in remarks made during her previous trial and sentenced her to an additional two years in prison.
Skyline points out that the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Casablanca has called for a protest in front of the Court of Appeals in Casablanca tomorrow, Wednesday, coinciding with the trial of activist and blogger Saida El-Alami.
Skyline says, El-Alami's conviction is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by human rights defenders in Morocco, particularly in relation to the exercise of their right to freedom of speech and the promotion of social and political issues that are of critical importance to the nation. By punishing El-Alami for her peaceful expression, Morocco risks stifling the voices of dissent, inhibiting public discourse, and impeding progress towards a more inclusive and democratic society.
The human rights foundation "Skyline" confirms that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in international conventions and treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Morocco is a party. These instruments recognize the essential role of freedom of expression in fostering democratic governance, social progress, and the protection of human rights.
At the end of its statment, Skyline asserts that this judicial harassment must stop. Moroccan authorities should secure Saida's immediate and unconditional release and drop all charges against her. Furthermore, Skyline emphasizes thatc is imperative that Morocco takes immediate and concrete steps to rectify this injustice and uphold its human rights obligations. This includes reviewing El-Alami's case in a fair and impartial manner, ensuring her right to a fair trial and due process, and considering the possibility of her release or a commutation of her sentence.