Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Autocratic monarchies that you like

"The case was brought eight months after Bouachrine received a four-year suspended prison sentence over publishing a cartoon that depicted the wedding of Prince Moulay Ismail, King, Mohammed VI’s cousin. The police shut down Akhbar al-Youm in September 2009 after the cartoon was published. Khalid Gueddar, the cartoonist, was also given a four-year suspended sentence. The newspaper was re-launched in December 2009 under a new name, Akhbar al-Youm al-Maghribia, but it is still referred to popularly asAkhbar al-Youm. “The Moroccan authorities are clearly using criminal charges to silence Taoufik Bouachrine,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “This is yet another in a series of politicized verdicts against the independent press. We urge the appeals court to show that there is no place in a democracy for such misuse of the courts by overturning Bouachrine’s conviction.” (thanks Rima)