There. I've said it. Now fine me. Throw me in prison.
Well those were some of the slogans on the placards carried by human rights activist Mohamed Bougrine and his colleagues last month during a sit-in. The reason for the protest? - the arrest and imprisonment of other activists who had staged a peaceful demonstration on May Day to mark International Workers' Day. This first group was charged with "undermining the monarchy" - which in Morocco is tantamount to attacking religious values - and
... they were ill-treated during arrests and threatened during interrogations and defence lawyers were reportedly not able to call defence witnesses during the trials.
The activists from the sit-in were subsequently arrested and charged with the same heinous crime - pissing off Mohammed VI.
Tuesday, the septuagenarian Mohamed Bougrine was sentenced to one year in prison. His lawyer, Mohamed Sebbar rightly contends that his client "has been sentenced for his opinions."
But Bougrine is unlikely to curl up into a ball and suffer debilitating and liberating attacks of claustrophobia. Unlike Paris Hilton, Bougrine knows his way around a Moroccan prison - a dubious honour indeed - having been a much favoured guest of King Hassan II and before that the French protectorate for over 15 years.
I wonder if you can get a cup of coffee in prison for less than 4 dirhams...