CASABLANCA, Morocco (AFP) – A court in Casablanca has handed down three-year suspended jail terms on two journalists for defaming Islam and breaching public morality in jokes published in a Moroccan weekly magazine.
The court also ordered the payment of damages of 80,000 dirhams (7,200 euros, 9,300 dollars) for “defamation against Islam and the monarchy”.
At the same time the court banned the magazine Nichane from publishing for two months.
The contentious jokes featured the prophet Mohammed, the late Moroccan King Hassan II, Islamists and Moroccans in an article entitled “How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics.”
The magazine’s attorney, Chawki Benyoub, said he would appeal the ruling.
International media rights groups had widely condemned the trial of the two journalists, Sanaa Al Aji and Driss Ksikes, as a violation of press freedom.