Nawal Benaissa is prepared to stand up for what she believes in. That’s why she speaks out for social justice and better health care services in her region, Rif, where many people feel forgotten by their government. As one of the leading voices of a popular movement called Hirak, she’s been on peaceful protests and campaigned for change on social media.
Every step of the way, she’s been harassed by the Moroccan authorities in an attempt to silence her. They arrested and held her in custody four times in just four months, and demanded she close her popular Facebook profile which had 80,000 followers.
Finally, in February 2018, she was given a 10-month suspended sentence and a fine for “inciting to commit an offence”. She’s appealing the verdict, but the intimidation continues. She moved to another city to avoid the constant surveillance.
Nawal’s treatment is part of a major crackdown on the Hirak movement and its leaders. Moroccan security forces have arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters and some just for expressing their support on Facebook.
For Nawal, the solution is simple. She wants to be completely free to fight for a better future for her community and her children.
Tell Morocco to stop harassing Nawal today.