Morocco rights group says dozens of internet-linked court cases
The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) said in a report on Thursday it has documented "dozens of cases of legal proceedings" against internet users over the past two years.
It said many of these related to posts on social networks criticising the authorities.
The AMDH said proceedings were launched "on the basis of political opinions, investigations, press articles published on social networks, or because of participation in peaceful demonstrations".
It said sentences handed down over the past two years ranged from a few months to six years in prison.
Only five defendants were acquitted, it added, without elaborating.
The group said rights activists, as well as ordinary people, have been jailed on charges ranging from "attacking Islam or the monarchy" to "insulting civil servants".
The authorities say they are battling defamation and "attacks against individual freedoms" on social networks, calling these "crimes" punishable by imprisonment.
On Monday, a court in Casablanca sentenced an internet user to five years for criticising the king on Facebook over Morocco's normalisation of ties with Israel.
Under the constitution, foreign affairs are the prerogative of the monarch, King Mohammed VI.
Said Boukioud, 48, was convicted under Article 267-5 of the penal code which stipulates a jail term of between six months and two years for anyone who undermines the monarchy.
But that sentence can be increased to five years if an offence is committed publicly, including by electronic means.
Rights activists say the law in Morocco hinders freedom of expression, and its wording "does not specify exactly what might constitute an attack" on the monarchy.