Morocco/Western Sahara: Further information: Human rights defender’s conviction upheld: Rida Benotmane

On 20 February, the Rabat Court of Appeal upheld the conviction against human rights defender Rida Benotmane, imposed by a lower court on 7 November 2022, on charges relating to his social media posts and YouTube videos dating from 2021, in which he criticised the Moroccan government. On appeal, his sentence was reduced from three years to 18 months in prison. He remains held in solitary confinement in Arjate 1 prison in the city of Salé. He must be immediately and unconditionally released as his imprisonment stems solely from the exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

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