Moroccan woman on hunger strike after jailed for 'insulting Islam': family
Fatima Karim "started a hunger strike 13 days ago to protest against her heavy sentence," a family member told AFP, requesting anonymity due to security concerns.
"We fear that her health is deteriorating."
Karim, 39, had been detained in July and later found guilty of "attacking the Islamic religion via electronic means," after she posted satirical comments about the Quran on Facebook.
فاطمة كريم شابة مغربية عبرت عن رأيها ومارست حريتها لاختيار معتقدها، لكنها وجدت نفسها في السجن بسبب هذه الاختيارات.— هاجر الريسوني hajar raissouni (@hajarraissounu) August 19, 2022
لم يعد مقبولاً اليوم في المغرب اعتقال الناس لآرائهم أو معتقداتهم، يجب تغيير هذه القوانين التي تعود للعصور الوسطى، وفسح المجال أمام المغاربة للتفكير والتعبير بحرية. pic.twitter.com/1KL7ow95xO
At her trial in the town of Oued Zem, she had said her comments were within the bounds of freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Moroccan constitution.
But the lower court rejected that and her appeal was dismissed in mid-September.
Karim has issued a public apology to "whoever felt offended" by her comments, saying she had not meant to insult Islam, which is the state religion.
Rights groups say Morocco's penal code, which allows for prison terms of up to five years for publicly "insulting" Islam, is not clear on what constitutes an insult.
A similar case last year led to an Italian-Moroccan woman being jailed for three and a half years over Facebook posts satirising Koranic verses.
She was released on appeal after two months behind bars, following a high-profile campaign by rights defenders.