Ali Lmrabet

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Lmrabet, the owner and editor of two weeklies, the French-language Demain and its Arabic-language sister publication, Douman, was jailed on May 21 after a court in the capital, Rabat, convicted him of “insulting the king,” “undermining the monarchy,” and “challenging the territorial integrity of the state.” He was sentenced to four years in prison (later reduced on appeal to three years) and fined 20,000 Moroccan dirhams (US$2,000). The court also ordered the two weeklies closed.

Lmrabet’s conviction stemmed from articles and cartoons published in the two magazines, including an interview with Abdullah Zaazaa, an opponent of Morocco’s monarchy who called for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara; a satirical photomontage that included a photo from King Mohammed VI’s wedding; an article about the royal court’s finances; and a cartoon that criticized public displays of reverence to the monarchy.

Lmrabet was released in early January 2004 after King Mohammed VI pardoned him and several dozen other prisoners.