Morocco / Middle East & North Africa

  

Attacks on the Press 2000: Middle East and North Africa Analysis

ALTHOUGH RIGHTS TO FREE EXPRESSION AND PRESS FREEDOM are enshrined in national constitutions from Algeria to Yemen, governments found many practical ways to restrict these freedoms. State ownership of the media, censorship, legal harassment, intimidation, and imprisonment of journalists were again among the favored tools of repression and control. In Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria,…

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Attacks on the Press 2000: Morocco

CENSORSHIP, PROFESSIONAL BANNINGS, AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS were among the official acts that eroded press freedom in Morocco in 2000, reversing gains seen in the final two years of the late King Hassan II’s reign, and following the 1999 coronation of his son, the liberal-minded King Muhammed VI. In December, the government permanently banned the weekly…

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Convicted of criminal defamation, two journalists face jail and crippling fines

Your Majesty: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply alarmed by the prison sentences and harsh financial penalties handed down on March 1 against two journalists at the weekly Le Journal Hebdomadaire. Abou Bakr Jamai, publications director of Le Journal Hebdomadaire and Ali Ammar, the newspaper’s general director, were convicted of defaming Foreign Minister Muhammed Ben Aissa and sentenced to jail terms of three and two months, respectively. Both men were also ordered to pay fines and damages totaling 2,020,000 Dirhams (about US$200,000). The charges stemmed from articles published last year in Le Journal Hebdomadaire’s now-defunct weekly predecessor, Le Journal. These had alleged that Ben Aissa profited from the purchase of an official residence during his tenure as Morocco’s ambassador to the United States in the late 1990s.

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Three newspapers banned for alleging prime minister’s involvement in 1972 coup attempt

Your Majesty: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is writing to protest the Moroccan government’s decision to ban the weekly newspapers Demain, Le Journal, and Al-Sahiffa. On December 2, the government released a statement saying the three newspapers were banned because they had attacked “the most sacred institutional bases of our country” and threatened “the stability of the state.” The statement added: “In insulting reality … and fabricating history, these papers have created doubt and sowed confusion in the spirit of Moroccans.”

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King amnesties convicted journalists

Click here to read more about press freedom conditions in MOROCCO New York, June 2, 2000 — Morocco’s King Muhammad VI issued a royal pardon last Sunday annulling the prison sentences and other penalties recently imposed on two journalists for allegedly libeling Foreign Minister Muhammad Benaissa, the Committee to Protect Journalists has learned.

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Morocco: Censorship, criminal prosecution of journalists on the rise

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is gravely concerned about government restrictions on press freedom in Morocco this year. During the past four months, Moroccan authorities have taken several punitive measures against the press, including the censorship of newspapers and the criminal prosecution of journalists.

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State cracks down on Western Sahara coverage

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is writing to express its deep concern about the censorship of the French-language weekly newspaper Le Journal and its sister publication the Arabic weekly Al-Sahiffa, as well as the dismissal of three employees from television station 2M.

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Publication of new weekly blocked because of content

Click here to read more about press freedom conditions in Morocco. New York, March 31, 2000 — A hard-hitting new Moroccan political weekly has been prevented from printing its fourth edition by one of its shareholders, the Committee to Protect Journalists has learned. The French-language weekly Demain was launched three weeks ago, but was blocked…

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Attacks on the Press 1999: Middle East Analysis

By Joel CampagnaRoyal succession and rubber-stamp elections set the tone for a year in which Middle Eastern and North African governments continued to restrict press freedoms through a combination of censorship, intimidation, and media monopoly. Ballots in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen produced few surprises as longtime rulers stayed in power and maintained formidable obstacles…

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Attacks on the Press 1999: Morocco

Press freedom appeared to benefit when Muhammad VI ascended the Moroccan throne in July, following the death of his father, King Hassan II, who had ruled for 38 years. The easing of self-censorship, which began in earnest after the formation of the government of Prime Minister Abdel Rahman Youssefi in 1998, accelerated thanks to the…

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