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Blog   |   Morocco, Spain

Morocco accuses Spain's El País of inciting terrorism

Aboubakr Jamai, left, says the Spanish prosecutor's investigation will embold the Moroccan government in its case against Ali Anouzla. (AFP/Fadel Senna)

Morocco's inclination for wielding terrorism accusations against journalists and news outlets who report on extremist groups has extended to Spain, where authorities are investigating El País newspaper and one of its journalists at the behest of the Moroccan government.

Blog   |   Morocco

Ali Anouzla still in jail as government blocks Lakome

Moroccan editor Ali Anouzla's arrest on September 17 in connection with an article published on his website has prompted an unprecedented wave of regional and international solidarity with a jailed Arab journalist. 

October 24, 2013 10:42 AM ET

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Blog   |   Morocco

Morocco declares itself 'democratic' while restricting media

The Moroccan government has stipulated that all TV networks, “whether Arab or foreign," now require authorization to do TV reporting outside the capital. (Reuters)While high-ranking Arab officials are not held accountable for misinforming or misleading the public, critical journalists in their respective countries are increasingly dragged into courts and handed harsh jail sentences following unfair trials for “spreading false news.”

Blog   |   Morocco

Morocco pardons journalist to create smokescreen

Driss Chahtan holds his daughter while being taken to prison. He was released a day before his wife had their second child. (Abdelwahid Mahir)

On Friday evening, after receiving an unexpected royal pardon, Driss Chahtan, the editor of the independent weekly Al-Michaal, was released from Oukacha Prison in Casablanca. However, his release is one of the few positive developments amid many alarming cases of worsening press conditions in Morocco.

June 16, 2010 10:15 AM ET

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Blog   |   Morocco, Spain

European Human Rights Court takes on press freedom

José Luis Gutiérrrez

The European Court of Human Rights issued a historic sentence on June 1, when it ruled that Spain’s sentencing in a case between the now-deceased Moroccan king Hassan II and me, formerly the editor of the Madrid-based newspaper Diario 16, violated the rights of freedom of expression and of the press.

Blog   |   Morocco

CPJ trip to Morocco reveals gap between rhetoric and reality

At the Casablanca Appeals Court, left to right: Driss Chahtan's lawyer, Said Ben Hommani; Al-Mishaa's Mustapha Rayhan; Kamel Labidi; Al-Mishaal's Hassan Ain al-Hayat; Chahtan's wife, Sihem, and daughter, Saberina. (CPJ)

Two weeks ago, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, and I were in Morocco to hold meetings with government officials as well as journalists. In some ways the trip was a success, but in other ways it left much to be desired from a country that claims to be “at the forefront of liberalization in the region,” to borrow language used by Morocco’s Communication Minister Khalid Naciri in his meeting with CPJ on February 19.

March 3, 2010 5:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Morocco

Morocco silences the pens of its journalists

On the eve of Hillary Clinton’s departure to Morocco for the Forum of the Future on November 3, CPJ urged her to “impress upon the Moroccan authorities that a free press is a crucial component of any free society.” The forum is a gathering of political, business, and social leaders from the Middle East and industrialized nations to discuss the promotion of freedom and democracy in the region. Despite calls to action from CPJ and a number of watchdog groups, however, the topic of Morocco’s deteriorating press freedom remained absent from the forum’s agenda. 

December 1, 2009 1:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   Morocco

Moroccan newsweeklies confiscated over royal poll

A bizarre case of press censorship arose recently in Morocco when authorities seized 100,000 copies of the country's two leading newsweeklies--TelQuel and its Arabic-language sister publication, Nichane--after they published the results of a poll in which Moroccans were asked to assess their king. The odd part? Ninety-one percent of Moroccans said they found the rule of King Mohammed VI mainly "positive."
August 10, 2009 1:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Morocco

Hormatallah released from "cemetery for the living"

The release of Mustafa Hormatallah, a Moroccan editor at the independent weekly Al-Watan Al An, prompted a memorable scene on July 25 as he exited Akacha Prison in Casablanca, Morocco's most populous and business-oriented city.

Scores of well-wishers including relatives, friends, and representatives of the of the National Syndicate of the Moroccan Press and human rights groups flocked early that Friday morning to this notorious prison to greet Hormatallah as he took his first steps toward freedom. They gave him a warm welcome after his eight months of captivity for practicing independent journalism. At 9:45 a.m. local time, he emerged from the gate of what he called a "cemetery for the living."

August 5, 2008 1:18 PM ET

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