9 February 2016

Morocco: RSF Demands Immediate Withdrawal of New Charges Against Editor

press release

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Moroccan authorities to drop the absurd and iniquitous charge of harming the country's territorial integrity brought against website editor Ali Anouzla on the basis of a translation error, and to abandon the trial that is due to begin today.

In an interview for the German newspaper Bild in November 2015, Anouzla referred to "Sahara" but the newspaper transcribed it as "occupied Western Sahara." Anouzla explained this when he was questioned about it by the authorities in December and the newspaper published a correction in February.

Anouzla, who edits the Lakome2 news site, is nonetheless due to be tried today in Rabat for "endangering the Kingdom's territorial integrity," an extremely grave charge that carries a possible five-year jail sentence.

"Holding a journalist responsible for a translation error by prosecuting him on such a grave charge is outrageous and ridiculous," said Yasmine Kacha, the head of RSF's North Africa desk. "We call on the Moroccan authorities to show some sense by withdrawing the charge at once and without conditions."

Anouzla is already the subject of a separate prosecution on a charge of "defending terrorism" for posting a link to an article on the website of the Spanish daily El Pais that, in turn, had a link to a video posted by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). RSF has repeatedly urged the authorities to abandon these proceedings, which are still under way.

Morocco is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Morocco

Journalist's Trial Again Delayed, RSF Calls for Charges to Be Dropped

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Morocco's judicial authorities to drop serious terrorism charges dating back to… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 Reporters sans Frontières. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.