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Morocco - Before hearing, call to drop terrorism charges against website editor

Source: Reporters Without Borders - Fri, 20 Dec 2013 10:10 AM
Author: Reporters Without Borders
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Ali Anouzla, the editor of the Arabic-language version of the news website Lakome, is scheduled to appear on 23 December before an investigating judge in Salé (near Rabat) who is responsible for handling terrorism cases.

Reporters Without Borders and the Anouzla Support Committee in France call on the authorities to abandon this investigation, to drop all the charges against Anouzla and to stop blocking access to both the Arabic and French-language versions of Lakome.

"Prosecuting Anouzla under the anti-terrorism law or even the Press Code would show that the authorities are bent on persecuting a journalist known for being outspoken," the two organizations said.

Anouzla was arrested in Rabat on 17 September for posting a link to an article in the Spanish daily El PaĆ­s, which in turn had a link to a video attributed to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

He was freed on 25 October after more than five weeks in "preventive detention" but continues to face a possible sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison on various charges including providing "material assistance" to a terrorist organization and "defending terrorist crimes."

Both the Arabic and French-language versions of Lakome have been blocked since 17 October.

Read these previous press releases:

Before King Mohammed travelled to Washington on 22 November Before US Secretary of State John Kerry's scheduled visit to Morocco on 11-12 November (which was finally cancelled) Before French foreign minister Laurent Fabius' meeting with his Moroccan counterpart as part of the 5+5 dialogue on 23 October A joint appeal by 60 human rights organizations on 10 October <br/>

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