Morocco / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Morocco since 1992

  

CPJ testifies to US Congress on threats to press freedom in Morocco

Today, at a hearing on “Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in Morocco” held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress, CPJ Middle East and Northern Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour presented testimony on the threats to press freedom and journalists’ safety in Morocco. Mansour’s testimony focused on Morocco’s record of…

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Pegasus Project revelations show added layer of risk for corruption reporters

Exposing those who abuse power for personal gain is a dangerous activity. Nearly 300 journalists killed for their work since CPJ started keeping records in 1992 covered corruption, either as their primary beat, or one of several. The risk was reaffirmed this month with the release of the Pegasus Project, collaborative reporting by 17 global…

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CPJ joins call for Moroccan authorities to release journalist Omar Radi, ensure fair trial

Yesterday, CPJ and 14 other civil society groups urged Moroccan authorities to release Le Desk investigative reporter Omar Radi, who has been in pretrial detention since his arrest on July 29, 2020, and to ensure that he receives a fair trial. Radi’s trial on charges of sexual assault and undermining state security was set to begin today, but the main…

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Morocco’s new tactic to punish journalists: charge them with sex crimes

Moroccan journalists Taoufik Bouachrine, Soulaiman Raissouni, and Omar Radi have a lot in common. All three have a nose for corruption, penning op-eds or investigations alleging government abuse. And all three have been charged with or sentenced to prison for sex crimes.  Press freedom advocates and the journalists’ family members told CPJ that Moroccan authorities are using trumped up…

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Ten years after the Arab Spring, the region’s media faces grave threats. Here are the top press freedom trends

In early February 2011, Alaa Abdelfattah was in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, documenting and participating in the nascent pro-democracy uprising that would topple the government and transform the country and the region. Today, he is in prison on anti-state and false news charges, which his family believes are partly retaliatory for his work. Abdelfattah is one of…

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A man smiles for photographers in front of a doorway as other people exiting the same building look on.

Bertha Foundation: Omar Radi’s arrest blocked Moroccan land rights exposé

The 10th time journalist Omar Radi was summoned by Moroccan police this summer, he was arrested on multiple charges including undermining state security and sexual assault, as CPJ documented in July. He was placed in solitary confinement in the Oukacha Prison in Casablanca to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and remained there as…

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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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