Moroccan Appeals Court Acquits Blogger Mohamed Al Rajhi

Moroccan Appeals Court Acquits Blogger Mohamed Al Rajhi

Arab Network for Human Rights Information stated on Sunday that Moroccan Appeals Court in the city of Agadir has acquitted the blogger Mohamed Al Rajhi on Thursday last September 18, who was charged of “breaching the due respect to the king”, and canceled the court verdict issued 10 days ago, on September 8 ,2008 of sentencing him for two years and paying a fine of five thousand Moroccan dirhams.

The network revealed that the quick verdict of the Appeals Court of acquitting Al Rajhi, has settled everything although it “grabbed the baton from the middle”, as the verdict did not confirm the right of the Moroccan blogger or any other journalists to criticize any governmental official, including the King himself.

Hamdi Al Asyouti (chancellor of legal support unit for freedom of expression in Arab Network) expressed his happiness at this verdict, “We still believe that an independent judiciary would not have sentenced Al Raji in such a case from the beginning; the freedom of opinion and expression will not be supported by anything but only by an independent judiciary that protects writers, journalists, bloggers from the executive power imposed on them, and what happened in Morocco, is happening every day all over the Arab world, thus the independent judiciary is a request which we must struggle for,” he added.

Agadir Court had decided to hold the Moroccan blogger Mohamed Al Rajhi for two years and impose a fine of five thousand Moroccan dirhams on him for “breaching the due respect to the king”, through writing an article entitled “King encourages people to reliance.”

Arab Network described this trial as one that introduces the model of tyrant trials which people of opinion are suffering from, as the prosecution demanded that the meeting should be confidential, and despite the court rejection, Al Rajhi trail has been in the absence of any lawyer or defense counsel but in one session without any preparation, the reason was for an article that did not contain any breach of the Moroccan King or otherwise.