Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Monday, January 15, 2007

Morocco journal banned, journalists tried

A Morroco journal has been banned, with its editor and one of its journalists fined and given suspended sentences. They are charged with insulting Islam for publishing a ten-page article about religious jokes. Holly Manges Jones of Jurist reports: "Journalist Sanaa al-Aji and Driss Ksikes, editor of Nichane [media website, in Arabic] weekly, were given suspended sentences of three years, fined $9,280 each, and are prohibited from engaging in any journalistic activity for two months. Prosecutors had asked the court to impose much harsher 3-5 year prison terms, but the pair said they still plan to appeal the sentences they did receive." Reporters without Borders and National Press Union of Morocco have protested the trial.

Nichane has posted at its website a petition for people to sign supporting its right to publish freely. It states:

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the unlawful ban imposed on Nichane weekly and the legal proceedings started against the editor and a journalist working for the magazine after the publication of a special report on “jokes” in Morocco.

We maintain that the ban is illegal and, in view of its form and substance, reinforces the extra-judiciary repressive measures already in force. We further believe that the ban and the legal proceedings undermine the rights and liberties established by the international authorities and human rights principles.

While we express our full and wholehearted solidarity with Nichane and call for the annulment of the ban and the dropping of the charges against its journalists, we reiterate our plea for the amendment of liberticidal laws regarding freedom of the press and freedom of opinion and thought.


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2:07 AM  

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