Cyber-dissident pardoned by King Abdullah

first_img August 12, 2020 Find out more JordanMiddle East – North Africa June 28, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Cyber-dissident pardoned by King Abdullah The pardon did not cancel the 18-month prison term she received on 29 May from the state security court for publishing allegedly false information abroad harming the reputation of the state and its officials. The conviction may prevent her from running in the next parliamentary elections. ______________________________________________________________11.06.2002 – Great concern about the health of Toujan el-FaisalReporters Without Borders said today it was very concerned about the health of imprisoned Jordanian cyber-dissident Toujan El-Faisal, hospitalised several days ago as a result of a hunger strike, and called for her immediate release.”The Jordanian authorities will have a big responsibility if her health worsens because they fail to take her protest seriously and do not improve her conditions of detention,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard.Noting that the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression said in a January 2000 report that imprisonment for peacefully expressing an opinion was a serious human rights violation, he urged Jordan to drop all charges against her. Receive email alerts Imprisoned Jordanian cyber-dissident Toujan el-Faisal was pardoned on 26 June by King Abdullah, one day after the country’s Chechen-Circassian community, to which she belongs, had appealed for her release on humanitarian grounds. She had been on hunger strike for 29 days. Faisal told the daily Jordan Times she was grateful to human rights organisations and activists who had pressed for her release. She said she planned to go to Syria to recuperate at the home of her cousin. She lost 16 kgs during her hunger strike. June 15, 2020 Find out more   Faisal, who was Jordan’s first-ever female member of parliament, has been in the King Hussein Medical Centre in Amman since 9 June, suffering from severe dehydration due to a hunger strike she started at the beginning of the month to protest against her conditions of detention at the Jweidah Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre. Her brother Mohammed said she had lost a lot of weight and had kidney problems from dehydration.Faisal, who was arrested on 29 March, was sentenced to the maximum 18 months imprisonment by the state security court on 16 May for publishing allegedly false information abroad harming the reputation of the state and its officials. She was also accused of having insulted the country’s legal system in an interview with the Qatari TV station Al-Jazeera in which she denounced the corruption of Jordan’s courts. No appeal can be made against the state security court’s decisions.In an open letter that appeared on the website of the Houston (Texas)-based Arab Times ( on 6 March, Faisal accused Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb of having profited financially from a government decision to double vehicle insurance rates.Faisal appealed to the supreme court on 29 May to annul her conviction, on grounds that her constitutional and human rights were violated, notably because she was not allowed to summon witnesses, including the prime minister.Since the beginning of this year, three journalists have been arrested in Jordan and two weeklies censored. News News Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Newscenter_img April 14, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Jordan News Jordan bans coverage of teachers’ protests Help by sharing this information to go further Two Jordanian TV journalists arrested after broadcasting criticism of lockdown JordanMiddle East – North Africa Organisation RSF_en last_img

YouTube accessible again in Indonesia

first_img The video-sharing website YouTube has been accessible again in Indonesia since 11 April, when communications minister Muhammad Nuh apologised at a news conference for the fact that it had been blocked. The government asked the country’s 146 ISPs to block YouTube on 2 April because the Dutch documentary “Fitna,” regarded by Muslims as “anti-Islamic,” had been posted on the site. Three responded positively to the request. Google, which owns YouTube, wrote to Nuh on 9 April asking him to submit a list of videos considered illegal so they could be withdrawn from the site and thereby avoid legal videos being pointlessly blocked for Indonesian users.—————-08.04 – Blocking of YouTube by three ISPs attacked as “excessive” Reporters Without Borders today denounced as “excessive” the government’s demand that 146 Internet service providers (ISP) block access to the YouTube video website because of the posting on it of a Dutch film, “Fitna,” which criticises the Koran. Three ISPs have yielded to the request since it was made on 2 April, including PT Excelcomindo (one of the country’s biggest mobile phone operators), Indonet and PT Telkom, which together account for most of Indonesia’s Internet subscribers. The three firms are also blocking access to websites MySpace, Metacafe, Rapidshare, Liveleak and News IndonesiaAsia – Pacific August 21, 2020 Find out more Melanesia: Facebook algorithms censor article about press freedom in West Papua November 19, 2020 Find out more IndonesiaAsia – Pacific Organisation “The ISPs complying with this demand by blocking an entire site when only part of it is being contested are endangering freedom of expression,” the wordwide press freedom organisation said. “YouTube has never been blocked in this way and as far as we know the country’s ISPs have never before barred access to websites.” “Fitna” was launched on 27 March on by its author, Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders, of the conservative Freedom Party, of which he is the sole MP. Two Islamist groups protested against the film on 31 March in front of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta and the Dutch consulate in Medan (northern Sumatra), which led President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono the next day to ban distribution of the film in Indonesia. YouTube remained accessible except for the film. But the day after that, the information and communication ministry asked the 146 ISPs to block access to all of YouTube. Indonesia ranks 100th in the Reporters Without Borders worldwide press freedom index. Just under 10 per cent of the population has Internet access, mainly through Internet cafés. On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia August 12, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en Follow the news on Indonesia News to go further Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years News April 14, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 YouTube accessible again in Indonesia News Receive email alertslast_img

Call for release of journalist thrown into prison without a valid reason

first_img Help by sharing this information July 1, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for release of journalist thrown into prison without a valid reason Organisation Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV RSF_en UkraineEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Ukraine “We call for the immediate release of Volodymyr Lutiev. We are astonished at the zeal with which he was thrown in prison when his only crime was to have displeased a local public figure by writing critical articles,” said the press freedom organisation.”Volodymyr Lutiev is considered a local Don Quixote who is constantly battling against injustice,” said Lilia Budjurova, of the Association of Independent Journalists of Crimea. “I am outraged at this brutal and unwarranted arrest.”A deputy in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Mykola Kotliarevsky, lodged a complaint against the journalist in October 2002 for attempted murder. Lutiev, author of several critical articles on his controversial election, was arrested one month later. He has quickly released but was subjected to an order obliging him to seek permission before leaving the city.A few days before his arrest, he had informed the Sebastapol appeal court in writing of his plan to travel to Kiev to meet UN human rights commissioner Nina Karpachova. But it was this same court that ordered his arrest, accusing him of leaving town.”I don’t rule out the possibility that the appeal court judges were bribed by Kotliarevsky because this arrest is groundless in law. I very much wonder why the judges should have changed their opinion when they rejected a request from Kotliarevsky to arrest him on eight previous occasions,” Lutiev’s lawyer, Viktor Ovechkin told Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders has called on Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko to immediately release Volodymyr Lutiev, editor of the weekly Yevpatoriskaya Nedelia, who was arrested in Sebastopol on 30 June without being given any valid reason.Lutiev has begun a hunger strike in the Sebastapol prison in protest after his arrest was ordered by the appeal court. News News News Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Receive email alerts News February 26, 2021 Find out more to go further March 26, 2021 Find out more Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority UkraineEurope – Central Asia September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img

After Tolo TV car bomb, entire media organizations under threat of attack

first_img May 3, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Help by sharing this information Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says Organisation Follow the news on Afghanistan Receive email alerts AfghanistanAsia – Pacific News AfghanistanAsia – Pacific News News to go further RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistan No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. The minibus was operated by the Kabura production company, which is owned by the Moby Group.“Journalists are targeted throughout the world but now entire news organizations are threatened by large-scale attacks,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Jihadists are among press freedom’s worst predators. As in Paris a year ago, killers decided to target a media outlet out of hatred for its editorial policies and hatred for free speech in general. We call on the Afghan authorities to assign all available resources to catching those responsible for this bombing as quickly as possible.”Tolo TV and 1TV – Afghanistan’s two leading privately-owned TV channels – were named as “military targets” in a Taliban communiqué on 12 October 2015. Signed by the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Military Commission,” it said: “We henceforth regard Tolo TV and 1TV as military targets, not as news media (…) Nothing is safe from our attacks, neither personnel (presenter, reporters or crews) nor the building themselves.”RSF visited Afghanistan last November to organize a conference on security for journalists and to meet with senior officials – including Head of Government Abdullah Abdullah, information and culture minister AbdulBari Jahani and presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi – to ask them to adopt concrete measures to protect the media.Journalists have paid a high price in Afghanistan since 2001. At least 34, including 15 foreign journalists, have been killed in connection with their work. Most of these murders are still unpunished.Afghanistan is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. News June 2, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is horrified to learn that at least seven members of Tolo TV’s staff were killed in downtown Kabul late this afternoon when a minibus taking a group of the TV station’s employees to their homes was rammed by a suicide bomber in another vehicle carrying explosives. January 20, 2016 – Updated on March 8, 2016 After Tolo TV car bomb, entire media organizations under threat of attack Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” March 11, 2021 Find out morelast_img

Web radio journalist slain by hooded gunmen in his office in the state of Chihuahua

first_img Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state The murder of Norberto Miranda Madrid, the editor of online Radio Visión’s website, on 23 September in the northern state of Chihuahua brings to 55 the number of deaths of journalists in Mexico since 2000 that were clearly or probably linked to their work.The latest tragic death comes as Reporters Without Borders is preparing to release the report next Monday (28 September) of its latest fact-finding visit to Mexico, from 4 to 12 July. Entitled “Behind the scenes of impunity in Mexico,” the report condemns the passivity of the authorities (and their apparent involvement in some cases) in this disaster for the Mexican media.More than 14,000 people have died in the offensive against drug trafficking which the federal government launched in December 2006. This situation has unfortunately reinforced Mexico’s ranking as the western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for the media.“The state of Chihuahua and its border city, Ciudad Juárez, are symbols of the uncontrollable violence resulting from the war between the drug cartels and the all-out military response from the federal authorities,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Norberto Miranda clearly paid with his life for not conforming to the prevailing self-censorship in his coverage of this reality. The Juárez cartel was probably behind his murder.”The press freedom organisation added: “While calling for justice to be done in this case, we would like to express our reservations about the probable appointment of former Chihuahua state Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez as federal Attorney General. His record in his previous post was marred by the total impunity surrounding the serial murders of women workers in Ciudad Juárez.”According to local police sources, Miranda was murdered by three hooded men who forced their way into the Radio Visión office in Nuevo Casas Grandes, about 200 km from Ciudad Juárez, asked for Miranda and shot him in cold blood after he identified himself.Aged 44, Miranda wrote op-ed pieces under the pen-name of El Gallito (Little Rooster). His 22 September column (read:, referred to the deaths of 25 people in Nuevo Casas Grandes since the start of the month in reprisals blamed on the Juárez Cartel.On 5 September, “El Gallito” had reported that four mid-ranking members of “La Línea” (The Line), the Juárez Cartel’s armed wing, had been captured in Nuevo Casas Grandes, and that they included Rodolfo Escajada, also known as El Rikín, who is on the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s wanted list.Eighty per cent of the drugs transiting through Mexico end up in the United States. The same proportion of firearms circulating in Mexico comes from the United States. Because Mexico’s tragedy involves the United States as well, Reporters Without Borders is going to unveil its latest report on Mexico at a news conference in Washington at 9 a.m. on 28 September. This is the link:’s murder came two days after freelance photographer Jaime Omar Gándara San Martín was stabbed to death in the state of Chihuahua. The motive for Gándara’s murder has not yet been established. Organisation MexicoAmericas MexicoAmericas September 25, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Web radio journalist slain by hooded gunmen in his office in the state of Chihuahua RSF_en May 13, 2021 Find out more News Reports Follow the news on Mexicocenter_img News News Help by sharing this information to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say May 5, 2021 Find out more 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img

RSF urges EU leaders to defend media freedom in Turkey

first_imgCampaigns April 2, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Turkey RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is launching an ad campaign that calls for a firm stand in defence of media freedom in Turkey by the European Union’s leaders, who will meet for an EU summit in Malta on Friday (3 February) “Can we carry on as if nothing is happening in Turkey?” the campaign visuals ask in five languages – French, English, Spanish, German and Swedish. They show Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, François Hollande, Theresa May, Mariano Rajoy, Donald Tusk and Stefan Löfven, who are urged to stop turning a blind eye to the unprecedented crackdown on Turkish journalists.The campaign ads will be posted on social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and will appear in the French national newspapers.The unprecedented persecution of Turkey’s journalists and media has been under way ever since last July’s abortive coup attempt.Pluralism is in the process of disappearing after six months under a state of emergency. More than 100 journalists have been put in prison, where they continue to await the start of their trials. No fewer than 149 media outlets and 29 publishing houses have been closed arbitrarily. At least 775 press cards have been rescinded and the passports of hundreds of journalists have been withdrawn without any form of judicial proceedings. Censorship of the Internet and social networks has reached unparalleled levels.Turkey’s neighbours cannot remain indifferent to such a crackdown in a country that is a candidate for admission to the European Union. European leaders have a political and moral duty to do everything in their power to rescue journalism in Turkey. Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 counties in RSF’s latest World Press Freedom Index. Organisation Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law News February 2, 2017 – Updated on March 16, 2017 RSF urges EU leaders to defend media freedom in Turkey to go further Help by sharing this information TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe April 28, 2021 Find out more News Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Receive email alerts April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img

US – #WeeklyAddress: April 15 – 21: The US drops to 48th in World Press Freedom ranking, considered “problematic”

first_img News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says United StatesAmericas It has been more than 300 days since the last time an official from the Department of Defense held a televised news conference from the Pentagon, according to TIME Magazine. The last Pentagon on-camera press briefing was held on May 31, 2018. CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr attributes the “blackout” partly to the officials being “afraid of upsetting the President.” She added, “It’s the American public that’s not getting information.”  On April 4, Defense Department spokesman Charles Summers Jr. said, “I can’t tell you why it’s been so long but I know that we will go on camera and when we are ready to do that I will let you know.” Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of April 15 – April 21: WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists RSF_en June 7, 2021 Find out more June 3, 2021 Find out more to go further News Press blackout at the Pentagon Tennessee Highway troopers block reporters from covering protest The US drops to 48th in World Press Freedom ranking, considered “problematic” The special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election included revelations that the White House had knowingly misled the press and the public’s perception of accurate reporting. The report, published on April 18, revealed that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had referred to her comments on former FBI Director James Comey as “a slip of the tongue” and said they were “not founded on anything.” In May 2017, Sanders said that “countless” FBI agents had told her they were grateful President Trump had fired Comey and made similar statements in the following days. The report also confirmed many of the stories written about Comey and Mueller that President Trump deemed “fake news” were accurate, including a piece by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and three separate New York Times stories. Politico’s Dan Diamond shared a Twitter thread outlining the various occasions in which President Trump attempted to discredit these stories and outlets. News Follow the news on United States Mueller report shows White House misled the press Help by sharing this information The United States fell for the third consecutive year to 48th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, which was released on April 18. This is the first time the United States is considered a country with a “problematic” press freedom environment after being considered “satisfactory” in years past, with much of the decline attributed to the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland in June 2018 that left four journalists and one other newspaper staffer dead. In addition, violent anti-press rhetoric from the highest level of the US government has been coupled with an increase in the number of press freedom violations at the local level as journalists run the risk of arrest for covering protests or simply attempting to ask public officials questions. Read more on our analysis here. News United StatesAmericas The Tennessee Highway Patrol threatened several reporters with arrest and blocked them from reporting on a sit-in protest outside Governor Bill Lee’s office in Nashville on April 16. The troopers told reporters to leave or face arrest, even after identifying themselves as members of the media and insisting they have historically had access to the Capitol building during these hours. One of the journalists, Natalie Allison of The Tennessean, detailed the encounter with troopers on her Twitter account, saying troopers threatened to arrest if they didn’t leave the building immediately. Chris Walker, communications director for the governor, later released a statement in which he said, “It is our understanding that Highway Patrol officers followed their standard protocol for when the Capitol building closes to the public. However, we do not condone threatening of arrest to reporters while they are doing their jobs in trying to cover news.” Back in February, Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers also tried to block reporters’ access to a Capitol hallway protest. MANDEL NGAN / AFP April 23, 2019 US – #WeeklyAddress: April 15 – 21: The US drops to 48th in World Press Freedom ranking, considered “problematic” For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en. Organisation April 28, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t read more

Journalist gunned down in Mogadishu, 2013’s first fatality in Somalia

first_imgNews to go further Help by sharing this information Organisation RSF_en News Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Shabelle Media Network radio and TV presenter Abdihared Osman Adan was fatally shot three times by unidentified gunmen while on his way to work this morning in Mogadishu. He died at the city’s Medina Hospital as doctors were about to operate.“At a time when the world’s eyes are turned to Africa, the international community needs to react to this death by pressing Somalia to take energetic measures in response to the constant violence against journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said.“Working as a journalist in Somalia requires permanent courage and determination. The attacks against them are targeted and unpredictable, and go unpunished. We urge the government to respond to the distress call from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) for the creation of a special force to protect journalists”.Aged 45, Adan was an active member of NUSOJ, the Reporters Without Borders partner organization in Somalia. He was one of the few Shabelle Media Network journalists not to live on the premises. Almost all of the news outlet’s employees prefer to live there full-time because it is protected and because the streets are so dangerous for them.Three of its journalists were murdered in 2012: Hassan Osman Abdi, its director, in January, Ahmed Ado Anshur in May and Mohamed Mohamud Turyare in October. In all, its employees have been the targets of half a dozen cases of violence, threats and intimidation in the past 12 months.Shabelle Media Network’s radio station, Radio Shabelle, won the Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize in 2010.This year has not begun well for the Somali media. Abdulaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a journalist working for two radio stations, Dalsan and Ergo, has been held at the Central Investigation Department (CID) since 10 January after interviewing a woman who said she was raped by soldiers. Three other journalists were briefly detained. The victim finally withdrew her complaint after several days of police harassment.With 18 journalists killed in connection with their work in 2012, Somalia was Africa’s deadliest country for the media and the world’s second-most dangerous country for news providers, after Syria. NUSOJ issued a report last November about the impunity enjoyed by those who murder journalists in Somalia.More information about the murders of journalists in Somalia in 2012.Photo : ’’On Air’’ sign at Radio Shabelle (AFP PHOTO / AU-UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES) Photo : Abdihared Osman Adan (Radio Shabelle) January 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Somalia Radio reporter gunned on city street in central Somalia January 18, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist gunned down in Mogadishu, 2013’s first fatality in Somaliacenter_img RSF and NUSOJ call for release of a journalist held in Somalia’s Puntland region News SomaliaAfrica Receive email alerts News SomaliaAfrica February 24, 2021 Find out more RSF requests urgent adoption of moratorium on arrests of journalists March 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img

Buddhist monk sentenced to 7 years for spreading information about Tibet

first_img Follow the news on China August 23, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Buddhist monk sentenced to 7 years for spreading information about Tibet ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation News Help by sharing this information He was arrested on 18 October at the Khashi Gyephel Samtenling monastery and taken to a detention centre in the Bhugang district of Chengdu, the Sichuan provincial capital. According to information reaching Reporters Without Borders from the area, Yonten Gyatso was beaten and tortured by officers of the local State Secrets Bureau.“In Tibet, the flow of information is problematic. Independent reporters are not allow into the region, apart from a few foreign journalists making the occasional visit with official approval. This means the only local sources of information are Tibetan citizens prepared to distribute news and photographs outside Tibet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In China, leaking state secrets outside the country is a crime under article 32 of the Law on Guarding State Secrets. “Any news that is disturbing or political in nature is liable to be deemed a state secret.“Beijing’s isolation of Tibet is increasingly worrying. In March this year, the head of the Tibet Communist Party, Chen Quanguo, ordered the local authorities to tighten their control over all means of communication, in particular mobile phones and the Internet, in order to ‘maintain the public’s interests and national security’.”China is ranked 174th of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders and is on the organization’s 2012 list of “Internet Enemies”. Receive email alerts News to go further News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures News RSF_en Reporters Without Borders condemns the arbitrary detention for months of the prominent Tibetan Buddhist monk Yonten Gyatso, and the seven-year prison sentence he has received for spreading information about Tibet. The organization calls for his immediate release and the withdrawal of the charges against him.The sentence was handed down on 18 June by the Ngaba Intermediate People’s Court. His friends and family, and the news organizations to which he contributes, only heard about it yesterday, two months later – a sign of the lack of transparency concerning prisoners in Tibet. He is serving his sentence in Mianyang prison in the western Chinese province of Sichuan. No-one knew where he was being held until the verdict was announced.Yonten Gyatso, a senior monk in Ngaba County and a human rights activist, is the founder of a primary school in the village of Khashishul where the Tibetan language is taught. He is accused of sharing photographs and information about the self-immolation of the Buddhist nun Tenzin Wangmo in October last year. He was also convicted of spreading information about the political situation in Tibet since 2008. April 27, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img

Authorities block Ali Lmrabet’s attempts to launch a new magazine

first_img Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa January 28, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities block Ali Lmrabet’s attempts to launch a new magazine RSF_en Organisation June 8, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders today condemned bureaucratic harassment of journalist Ali Lmrabet and the blocking of his attempts to launch a weekly to replace Demain Magazine, which has been banned in Morocco since May 2003.”There seems to be no limit to how far the Moroccan authorities will go to thwart Ali Lmrabet, but it is vital that the laws are respected and the authorities have no right to prevent the publication of a new newspaper without giving a valid reason,” the press freedom organisation said.Lmrabet went to the newspapers department at the Rabat lower court building on 12 January to present an application to publish a new satirical, French-language weekly which, as he had already announced in the press, he intended to call Après-Demain.It came as no surprise when he was told that name was already taken, so he filed an application for a magazine to be called Demain Libéré. The officials tried to find fault with the application but it was in good order, so the deputy prosecutor told him to return the next day.As he left, he was refused a receipt acknowledging his application and the next day when he tried to go to the prosecutor’s office, a policeman called him by name and told him he could not go in, explaining that he was just following instructions.But the law is clear. Article 6 of the press and publication code says that, when an application to publish a newspaper is filed, the authorities must “immediately give (a) stamped and dated provisional receipt. The definitive receipt must be issued within a maximum of 30 days, failing which the newspaper can be published.”Justice ministry press attaché Khalid Mokhtari told Reporters Without Borders that Lmrabet’s file needed some clarification. Lmrabet said: “I am fully aware that, in order for me to be able to publish a newspaper in Morocco, justice minister Mohammed Bouzoubaâ must first check with King Mohammed VI or one of his advisers, because my case is managed directly from the palace.”In May 2003, when he was the editor of Demain Magazine and Douman, Lmrabet was sentenced by a Rabat court to four years in prison for “insulting the person of the king,” attacking Morocco’s “territorial integrity” and “attacking the monarchy.” This was reduced on a appeal to three years in prison the following month. Lmrabet was awarded the Reporters Without Borders – Fondation de France Prize on 10 December 2003. He and other imprisoned journalists received a royal pardon on 7 January 2004. Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists News to go further RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Follow the news on Morocco / Western Saharacenter_img News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa April 28, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News News Receive email alerts NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img