A Casablancan court has sentenced a 26 year old Moroccan Computer Engineer,Fouad Mourtada (see picture) to a 3 year jail term plus a fine of $1,300 for ''villainous practices linked to the alleged theft ''of the identity of Prince Moulay Rachid,the younger brother of King Mohammed VI. Fouad had set up a Facebook profile in the name of Prince Moulay.Little did he know that this would land him in trouble.The young man was only trying to catch his fun doing what most of us enjoy doing-Blogging.Hear Fouad in his own words:
''I actually created this account on January 1, 2008.It remained online a few days before somebody closed it.There are so many profiles of celebrities on Facebook.I never thought that by creating this profile of his highness,Prince Moulay Rachid I am harming him in any way.I,as a matter of fact,did not send any message from that account to anyone.It was just a joke,a gag.I regret my gesture and beg for forgiveness from my whole family for the harm that I have caused them.I am not an evil doer;my ambition in life was simply to have a stable job and a normal life.''
Fouad claimed that he was tortured to the point where he lost conciousness, after his arrest on Tuesday,February 5th 2008.There have been calls for the release of this young man.An organisation named 'Committee of support for Fouad Mourtada' has called for a general mobilization for the freeing of Fouad by the Morrocan authorities.Early this week,some Moroccan Bloggers went on strike in protest of Fouad's arrest.They suspended their regular blog entries for 24 hours. You can visit www.helpfouad.com to sign a petition.
As a Blogger,the fate of Fouad calls for concern.Can't readily remember whom it was that said: ''...an injury to one,is an injury to all.'' That is exactly the way I am feeling.Fouad is a family member on bloggoville/bloggosphere.Hoping that pressure keeps mounting on the Moroccan authorities to free Fouad.