19 May 2014

Morocco: Human Rights Organizations Call for the Charges Against Journalist "Ali Anouzla" to Be Dropped, and "Lakome" Website to Be Unblocked

press release

Cairo — The undersigned Arab human rights organizations and associations call on Moroccan authorities to drop the arbitrary charges of supporting terrorism against journalist Ali Anouzla, which will be considered by the Moroccan judiciary tomorrow Tuesday 20 May 2014. They also demands from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) to lift the ban on the blocked website "Lakome", which is one of the most salient Moroccan and Arabic sites alike.

The undersigned organizations stress that Moroccan authorities certainly know that the allegations of supporting terrorism that are against Ali Anouzla are a far cry from him. They call upon the authorities to lift the ban on "Lakome" website that Anouzla was asked to block during the course of the case. However, ANRT refused to block the site arguing that an injunction should be issued to re-launch it despite the fact that the judiciary has not basically issued a decision to block it, which is confirmed by the judiciary itself. Apparently, the genuine purport of such unfair trial is then illustrated, which is to halt Anouzla's criticism and deprive the Moroccan and Arab audience from a credible media platform that has become known for its professionalism such as "Lakome" website.

Moroccan authorities apprehended Anouzla on 17 September 2013 on a charge of glorifying terrorism against the backdrop of publishing a link to video about Al-Qaeda. Following his request, the authorities have already blocked both the Arabic and French-language versions of Lakome. The website remains blocked until now.

Anouzla was released on 25 October 2013. However, the investigations and the trial are still circulating as a sword on his neck despite the lack of truthfulness the charges entail.

The human rights organizations that sign this statement said, "The harassment of the independent journalists in Morocco should be stopped, and the involvement of the judiciary in constraining press freedom should also be discontinued. Ali Anouzla is one of the journalists who deserves our support and solidarity owing to his credibility and professionalism that he always takes into account. The perpetuation of tightening the noose on him alongside the blocking of "Lakome" website make the Moroccan government associated with the hostility to press freedom and the violation of freedom of expression".

The Signatories:

- The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

- El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence

- Gulf Center for Human Rights

- Egyptian Foundation for Advancement of Childhood Conditions (EFACC)

- Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE). Egypt

- "Nawah" Organization. Tunisia

- Center For Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

- The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE)

- Arab Program for Human Rights Activists

- The Arab Foundation for Civil Society and Human Rights Support

- Human Rights First Society (HRFS). Saudi Arabia

- Andalus Institute For Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies. Egypt

- Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms

- Filastiniyat Organization

- Maharat Foundation. Lebanon

- Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights

- "Yaqza" Association for Democracy and Civil State

- Tunisian Association of Democratic Women

- Tunisia Center for Freedom of the Press

- The National Union of Tunisian Journalists

- Research Association in the Democratic Transition. Tunisia

- Research Center for Media, Public Opinion and Local Governance.

- Tunisian Syndicate of Independent and Partisan Press

- "Lam Al-Shaml". Tunisia

- Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights

- Observatory of Academic Freedoms of Tunisian University Teachers

- Tunisian Association of Defense of University Values

- National Foundation to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling in Children

-Committee for the Respect of Freedom and Human Rights in Tunisia

For further details:



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