Morocco: Activists Protest Trial of Journalists, Lawmaker

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Morocco: Activists Protest Trial of Journalists, Lawmaker

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.



Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
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Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority could collapse in the coming months, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said on Monday, citing a lack of funding, continuing violence and the fact that half a million Palestinians are not allowed to work in Israel.

"The situation is extremely dire. The Palestinian Authority, with whom we work closely, are warning us that they might be collapsing this summer," Barth Eide told Reuters.

"If it collapses, you could end up having another Gaza, which would be terrible for everybody, including the people of Israel," he added.

Norway chairs the international donor group to the Palestinians and is a backer of the PA.