MAP - Friday, March 20th 2020

11 People Arrested for Spreading False Information That Could Undermine Public Order, Police

Rabat - The police services of Casablanca, Rabat, Chefchaouen, Jerada, El Hajeb, Tiznit, Biougra and Meknes arrested, on Wednesday and Thursday, eleven people, including 4 women, for their alleged involvement in the dissemination and distribution of false information via computer systems, which may undermine public order and cause panic among citizens.

The National Police (DGSN) said in a statement on Thursday that this operation is part of the continuation of investigations aimed at combating false digital content relating to the pandemic of the new coronavirus (Covid-19). The central cell for computer monitoring to fight fakenews linked to the new coronavirus pandemic had detected false digital content posted on social media and via instant messaging applications on mobile phones, about alleged cases of Covid-19 infection and road closures between cities and the countryside or the denial of the new coronavirus' existence, the statement said. This required opening judicial investigations and carrying out meticulous technical expertise which made it possible to identify the people involved in the preparation, publication and dissemination of this false content, added the same source. Six individuals among the arrested suspects were remanded in police custody for the judicial investigation ordered by the competent public prosecutor's offices, while the other five were subjected to preliminary probes before referring them to the public prosecutor's office which supervised investigations.