Sahara Press Service (El Aaiun)

6 July 2014

Morocco: Adalauk - Journalist Jailed By a Moroccan Court for Reporting On Emonstrations in Western Sahara Must Be Freed

London — Three days before he was detained, Mohmod Lhaisan delivered a live report on RASDTV (Saharawi television) which showed the excessive violence used by the Moroccan authorities against peaceable Saharawi demonstrators.

Two days before he was detained, Mohmod put a message on Facebook stating that the Moroccan authorities had attacked demonstrators who were protesting peaceably in the Saharawi capital, El Aiún, causing damage to seven Saharawi homes and several shops. The journalist, who had in a previous Facebook post questioned the authorities' version of events put out via the media, confirmed that inhabitants of the area had been detained, including many who were injured.

The charges against Momod Lhaisan should be dropped and he should be released immediately.

AdalaUK believes that:

The detention of a journalist for merely doing his job goes against Morocco's international obligations and undermines the Saharawi people's rights to receive information via the media;

Journalists must be able to complete their professional activity free from fear of threat from the authorities and free from suffering arbitrary restrictions on their actions;

The Moroccan authorities and armed forces should be judged on their actions, not just their words.

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