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The New Arab

Moroccan anti-normalisation activist imprisoned over 'assaulting security guard' at BDS protest

BDS activists protested against the inclusion of an Israeli company at the expo [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2019

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Ahmed Ouhaiman, head of the Moroccan National Observatory Against Normalisation, has been sentenced to one month in jail.
A Moroccan campaigner against normalisation with Israel has been sentenced to a month in jail after being accused of assaulting a security guard during a demonstration.

Ahmed Ouhaiman, head of the Moroccan National Observatory Against Normalisation, received the verdict from a court in Errachidia, eastern Morocco, on Thursday evening.

The activist was arrested late last month after participating in a protest against a date exhibition featuring an Israeli company.

The anti-normalisation group decried the expo for the "crime" of hosting NETAFIM, an Israeli maufacturer of irrigation equipment, which it said was "linked to the Zionist army".

Ohaiman was detained after leaving hospital, where he had received treatment for injuries sustained when Moroccan security forces "attacked" anti-normalisation activists at the protest, the Observatory said.

He was accused by the authorities of assaulting a security guard who had attempted to disrupt the protest against NETAFIM.

Protests against the Israeli company last year had prevented the irrigation giant from participating in the expo, Morocco's largest annual exhibition of date products.

According to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, the dispute erupted when anti-normalisation campaigners attempted to photograph NETAFIM's products in order to document the Israeli company's involvement.

A video shared on social media showed a security guard being punched, but activists say the assault occured after Ouhaiman was beaten by security forces.

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