Kingdom of Morocco 31.62 million people 98.7% Muslim, 1.1% Christian Capital is Rabat, largest city is Casablanca King: Mohammed VI Prime Minister: AbdelilahBenkirane Arabic is the official language 52.3% of citizen are literate Morocco is slightly larger than California Located in North Africa & separated by water below Spain
Morocco’s History 1860: Morocco partially occupied by Spain. 1912: Treaty of Fez; Morocco under French protection. 1956: Morocco gains independence from Spain & France, but later Spain regains some territories. 1975: Under King Hassan Moroccans regain territories from Spain. 1991: Hassan dies, son, Mohammed VI comes into power. He promises to work on human-rights. 2011: Protests occur in major cities, calling for a new constitution and limitations on the King’s power.
Morocco: Not Free Freedom Press rates Morocco as not free, with 68 points out of 100 on the scale. Their constitution guarantees freedom of expression. Libel cases control much of the critical journalism in Morocco.
Government has the power to revoke publication licenses, suspend newspapers, and confiscate editions seen as threatening to public order. Journalists are vulnerable to lawsuits under press laws if they offend the king, defame the monarchy, insult Islam or state institutions. Columnists face even more vulnerability & danger for their opinions Only 32% of the population regularly accessed the Internet in 2009.
RachidNini, a popular Moroccan columnist, isbehind bars for “gravely offending” public officials& disparaging the courts even though thecountry’s new constitution enables freedom ofexpression. – Human Rights Watch
Morocco’s Menassat NewsOrganization Al-Massa had $420,000 fines against it from the government that ruined the news business. Moroccan authorities have been cracking down on individual journalists. Many citizens & journalist express a need for a fair judiciary body specialized in press & media.
The govt. bans some journalists from practicing their profession, issues exorbitant fines in defamation cases, arrests journalists and imprisons them, bans newspapers and magazines, and destroys publications outside the law, while asking the publication houses to control what they print. The Moroccan press feel they are being targeted and feel the need to support eachother under such pressures.
Morocco World News & LasVegas Sun Authorities withdrew the press accreditation of Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist Omar Brouksy over his coverage of legislative by- elections in Tangier on Oct. 5th. The govt. claimed the story was unprofessional & there were allegations about the monarchy in the upcoming elections. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) described the decision as “political,” saying it was “clearly an interference in the independent practice of journalism.”
Morocco’s govt. does not allow freedom of expression for journalists &will use all of their power & force to make sure a story doesn’t run if it tells the facts they don’t want the public to see. "The communications minister uses the withdrawal of accreditation as a weapon against the information professionals to force them to self-censor.” – RSF Brouksy was attacked & beaten by police in August while covering a small protest against the kings annual ceremony of allegiance& used to be the editor-in-chief of a newspaper that was weekly shut down by the state.