CPJ’s Recommendations

To King Mohammed VI and the government of Morocco:

  • Examine all options to revoke suspended jail terms and professional bans against journalists so that they are able to practice their profession freely and without fear.
  • Commission an independent inquiry to investigate judicial misconduct and political meddling. Make the inquiry’s findings public.
  • Reform legislation to make defamation a civil, rather than criminal, matter. Lay out clear, specific, and fair guidelines for judges to follow when determining damages in defamation cases.
  • Establish a long-term deadline to abolish Morocco’s press law. In the interim, abolish provisions in the press law and penal code that violate the internationally protected right to free expression. In particular, abolish provisions that restrict content, allow censorship, and set penalties of professional bans and prison.
  • Cease government interference with the press, including newspaper suspensions, professional bans on journalists, and detentions by authorities;
  • Work with publishers and journalists to establish a fair and transparent process for the purchase of newspaper advertising to address concerns about politically motivated advertising boycotts against independents.
  • As part of the government’s recent moves to privatize broadcast media, ensure that private stations are open to independent news and opinion, including views critical of the government and its policies.

To the United States government and to the European Union and its member states:

  • Raise at the highest levels with Moroccan government officials concerns about politically motivated court judgments, censorship, and government intimidation targeting independent journalists.