Melon Farmers Original Version

Blogging in Morocco

Bloggers under duress in Morocco

15th April

 Offsite: Bloggers under Duress...

Formerly Jailed Moroccan Blogger Bashir Hazzam Tells His Story

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13th December

Update: The Good News...

Blogger arrested in Morocco after reporting clash between students and police

Moroccan blogger Bashir Hazem was arrested on December 8, 2009 after posting a press release about a clash between students and police on his blog. He has been interrogated about his blogging, specifically his most recent post, which contained the signatures of a committee of arrested students.

Hazem was detained and put in solitary confinement for a period of time, then rejoined the other detainees in the prison.

A Facebook group [ar] has been created to support blogger Bashir Hazem, who has been detained in Goulmim prison in the south of Morocco for publishing a statement about the intervention of the police force against an inhabitant of the Goulmim, on his blog Al Boushara ( the good news ).

According to the President of the Moroccan Bloggers Association, Internet cafes in the city are being monitored in order to prevent Internet users from disseminating information about the event, and to prevent riots. The authorities have also arrested others suspected of spreading news about the protests, including an Internet cafe employee, for possessing protest materials and flyers.

Hazem will face trial on Monday, December 14, 2009.


9th March

Brave but Arrested...

Moroccan blogger arrested over petition against prosecutor

Moroccan blogger and anti-corruption journalist, Hassan Barhoum, who has been arrested since February 25th for exposing a corruption case involving the prosecutor-general for the king of Morocco.

Barhon circulated a petition calling Mohamed Masmouki, the prosecutor-general at Tetouan's court of appeals, a dangerous criminal undermining people's sacred beliefs and the state institutions. The petition, which has been signed by scores of journalists, bloggers and activists, called for the need to put Mohamed Masmouki on a popular trial.

According to the CPJ, blogger Hassan Barhon was charged under Article 263 of the penal code with defaming a member of the judicial body. If convicted, Hassan Barhon could face up to five years in prison: The Moroccan authorities must stop criminalizing freedom of expression and punishing critical bloggers and journalists [...] Morocco cannot pursue criminal proceedings for defamation, which is a civil matter, while at the same time claiming that the country continues to make progress in the field of press freedom.

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