The Moroccan Newspaper Al Masheel Banned after the Imprisonment of Its Editor in Chief A Decision that Reflects the Government’s Intention to Put an End to Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression
The Moroccan Newspaper Al Masheel Banned after the Imprisonment of Its Editor in Chief A Decision that Reflects the Government’s Intention to Put an End to Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression
Saturday, November 21,2009 20:26


The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed its deepest regret regarding the decision of the prosecutor of the Court of First Instance in Casablanca (13/11/09) in banning the Morrocan newspaper, Al Masheel, stating that its previous editor in chief, Edriees Shahtan, is serving a prison sentence. Shahtan was sentenced to a year in prison and a 10,000 dirham fine (equivalent to 1000 Euros approximately) by Sella’s Appeal Court as a punishment for his articles about the health of King Mohammed VI.

Forces of the National Security have summoned the editor in chief of the newspaper, Edriees Waleed El Qabla, to inform him of the decision by the prosecutor to ban the new newspaper.

In the same case, two journalist, Rasheed Mohamed and Mostafa Hiran , in the newspaper were sentenced to three years of imprisonment and a 5,000 Dirhams fine (equivalent to 440 Euros approximately) charging them with publishing articles about the health of King Mohammed VI.

It is important to remember that Akhbar El Youm newspaper was banned as well in October due to a case filed by a member of the royal family objecting on a cartoon in the newspaper about his wedding ceremony. The court, however, never got a chance to look into the case as the Ministry of Interior intervened issuing a decision to ban the newspaper. The newspaper has not been published since the 29th of September.

ANHRI is calling the Moroccan government to stop this harassment against opposition newspaper and respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The government should give the opposing voices room to express their views in order for Morocco to sustain its position as a defender of the freedom of the press in the Arab world.
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