On the Web, everyone is talking about Bill 22-20 which utterly outraged Moroccan Internet users, to the point of creating an online petition that is currently being signed. On Twitter, actually becoming very popular: قانون_الكمامة# (the law of the mask), ارفض_2220# # (refuse 2220).
What’s wrong with it? The aim of the text is to regulate social networks and prevent fake news. It was adopted at the end of March at the Council of Government and the full version of the text has not yet been made public. However, several Moroccans are rightly complaining about passages in the text that they consider to restrict freedom of expression, something that conflicts not only with the intentions of the 2011 Constitution, but also with all international standards in this area.
At the moment, the clauses forbid the use of social networks as a call for boycott. Offenders” will be punished by 6 months to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of 5,000 to 50,000 DH.
Another controversial point of this text is the prohibition of spreading fake information that could raise doubts about the quality or safety of any product. The punishment provided in this case is considered by some to be extreme.
The minister of state for human rights, Mustafa Ramid, came out to discuss the issue following the overwhelming reactions. The original version of this controversy, he said, was rejected by some members of the government. That is why, Ramid added, these statements are not final.
“Any further debate on clauses in this text is premature,” the minister said in a statement published on an official page on Tuesday.