Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Morocco: Activists Protest Trial of Journalists, Lawmaker

Morocco: Activists Protest Trial of Journalists, Lawmaker

Friday, 26 January, 2018 - 10:30

Activists protested on Thursday outside a Moroccan court in support of four journalists and a member of the Democratic Labor Confederation (CDT) who are being tried for publishing content deemed confidential.

The defendants stand accused of publishing in late 2016 excerpts of a parliamentary commission's debates over huge deficit at the national pension fund while the CDT member is accused of providing information on these debates.

The journalists and activists chanted slogans outside the courthouse in the capital Rabat condemning limitations imposed on media freedom.

They called for guarantees on freedom of expression and the immediate end of the trial.

Thursday's hearing was adjourned to March 8.

The head of the national press union, Abdellah Bekkali, said he was worried by the increase of legal cases against journalists in Morocco.

He described the trial of the journalists and the parliamentarian as an attempt to weaken and humiliate freedom of expression in the country.

Abdelhak Belachgar, one of the journalists on trial, also said: "This trial is quite unique. We're being prosecuted for publishing accurate information."

"We're being prosecuted according to elements in the penal code relevant to professional secrecy, not according to the press code," the journalist with Akhbar al-Yaoum newspaper added.

Editor Picks