Morocco / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Morocco since 1992

  
Maati Monjib, right, chats with Moroccan journalist Hicham Mansouri in Rabat, Morocco, January 17, 2016. Amnesty International reported this month that Monjib has been sent malicious messages in an attempt to install spyware on his phone. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Q&A: Moroccan press freedom advocate and NSO Group spyware target Maati Monjib

Pegasus, the cellphone spyware tool sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group, is one of the most powerful surveillance systems governments can buy, experts say. Researchers who study it have detected “45 countries where Pegasus operators may be conducting surveillance operations,” and detailed its capabilities: whoever tricks the target into clicking on a link that…

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Moroccan investigative journalist Omar Radi, who at the time worked for the website Le Desk, the website's headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco, on September 18, 2015. Radi and other independent journalists told CPJ about a climate of pervasive surveillance and harassment in the country. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment

In March 2015, Hicham Mansouri emailed an anti-malware company, suspicious of possible signs that someone was able to access his device remotely, without permission. He remembers exchanging a few messages with the software company, but the correspondence was interrupted after a few days, when around 10 police officers in civilian clothes arrived at his home…

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President François Hollande speaks at the opening of the Open Government Partnership summit in Paris in December, where press freedom was added to the agenda. (Jacky Naegelen/Pool/AFP)

Press freedom on OGP agenda as authoritarianism rises

There was poignancy to the Paris summit of the Open Government Partnership, as leaders from government and civil society took the stage to defend a political ideology under siege: liberal democracy. French President François Hollande, who amid weak public support announced he will not seek re-election in 2017, called democracy “so fragile and so precious.”…

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King Mohammed VI waves a Moroccan flag as he inaugurates a solar plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco, on February 4, 2016. The king and national symbols like the flag are sensitive subjects for the media. (AP/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Mission Journal: Morocco’s new press law undermined by draft penal code

In the small, polished Moroccan capital of Rabat, pictures of King Mohamed VI, who took the throne in 1999, hang in many shops, offices, and hotels. In most of these, he is clean-shaven, smiling, and wearing a suit: a modern monarch. His image is part of the official narrative of the country as a place…

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Taoufik Bouachrine in 2009 (AFP)

Amid wave of defamation cases, CPJ joins call for Morocco to drop charges against press

New York, November 13, 2015–CPJ has joined Free Press Unlimited and seven other organizations in a statement of support for seven Moroccan journalists and human rights defenders who will face trial on November 19, on charges ranging from defamation to harming national security. One of the journalists, Hicham Mansouri, is already behind bars on an…

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CPJ joins call for Morocco to end harassment of journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and three other human rights groups, in calling on the government of Morocco to stop its harassment of journalists and human rights defenders. The statement was delivered during the general debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on…

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Moroccans take part in a demonstration to support French-Moroccan satirical journalist Ali Lmrabet on July 24 in front of the parliament in the Moroccan capital Rabat. (AFP/Fadel Senna)

Moroccan king must allow Ali Lmrabet to practice journalism

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 161 organizations, writers, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and politicians in calling on the king of Morocco to stop the administrative harassment of Ali Lmrabet. The satirical journalist has been on hunger strike outside the U.N.’s Geneva offices since June 24, according to news reports.

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

Morocco accuses Spain’s El País of inciting terrorism

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.

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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. 

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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)

Morocco declares itself ‘democratic’ while restricting media

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.”

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