The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned today the severe verdict that Mohamed Elrraji, the Moroccan Blogger, received from the Primary court of Agadir, of imprisonment for two years, in addition to a fine of 5,000 Moroccan dirham, all under the allegation of “disparagement against the king”, for having written and published an article entitled “The King Encourages the Dependency of his People” on his blog site last Wednesday, 3rd of September.
Elrraji’s trial is a perfect model for the types of trials people, who express their opinion freely, receive; the Prosecution demanded the confidentiality of the session, but the jury refused, yet his prosecution was done on one session, in the absence of any defense, and his only liability was just having written an article, in which he vilified neither the King, nor anyone else.
The ANHRI stated that the “Hespress” website published his article last Wednesday, the 3rd of September, then the investigations started on the next day, Thursday, and continued till Friday, when he was arrested, then he was sentenced to spend two years in prison and to pay a fine, in court last Monday, the 8th of September, all this occurred without allowing him his right to have a defense counsel. That is a crystal clear example of the absence of Justice and Freedom of Expression in Morocco.
This severe verdict against the Moroccan Blogger confirms the return of Morocco to a prior era of misery, when pen were unfree, and prosecutions were unjust, where also torture existed; now all that is missing are the forced disappearances, so that Morocco is back to its lead-dark years.
The ANHRI added, “The Moroccan King should know that no matter how severe any journalistic critique may be, this does not necessarily mean that it is intended to vilify anyone; hence, we demand that he permit Mohamed Elrraji a pardon and release him”.