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Morocco: Grocer Imprisoned for Speech: Omar Ben Boudouh

, Index number: MDE 29/1783/2020

Omar Ben Boudouh, known as Moul El Hanout (the grocery store owner), has been hospitalised since 14 February 2020 after spending 45 days on hunger strike. On 5 December 2019, police arrested Ben Boudouh in Khemisset near Rabat and accused him of “offending” public officials and institutions and "incitement to hatred". Ben Boudouh had previously posted a live video on his Facebook page where he peacefully expresses critical opinions about the king of Morocco saying that he allowed for impunity to prevail. On 7 January 2020, a court sentenced Ben Boudouh to three years in prison and he subsequently began a hunger strike. His lawyers appealed the sentence on 12 February 2020 and are awaiting a final verdict to be pronounced on 26 February 2020.

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