Taoufik Bouachrine

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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.”
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.

New York, June 15, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Moroccan judiciary today to overturn a prison sentence given Friday to Taoufik Bouachrine, editor of the independent daily Akhbar al-Youm, on politicized criminal charges.

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