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End the Censorship of Rachid Nini

December 5, 2011

I would like for you to meet Rachid Nini. He’s a popular journalist who runs a newspaper in Morocco. He has been arrested for “gravely offending” people in high places. It’s just a guess, but I think there may be some truth to “his own analysis and opinions about daily events,” which has irked quite a few public officials because these daily events probably involve some type of malfeasance tied to them.

So what are these poor public officials to do? That’s correct! They are going to flex their might and use the power bestowed to them–along with article 263 of the penal code, which was set up in a way to censor, punish and deter any criticism directed at them–so they can intimidate Mr. Nini and silence him once and for all. How else are you gonna stop the bad press about yourself?

One official named Abdellatif Hammouchi didn’t like being accused of abusing his authority as head of a domestic intelligence agency. I know what you are thinking. It’s crazy talk to think that someone with concentrated power is capable of abusing his or her power; just plain crazy. Although Mr. Nini does claim his sources are credible but they wish to remain anonymous; probably due to fear of retaliation (see article 263 of the penal code).

Morocco’s government should, I dunno, recognize article 28 of the country’s new constitution which states the following:

“Press freedom is guaranteed and cannot be limited by any form of prior censorship. Everyone has the right of expression and to freely distribute information, ideas, and opinions, limited only by that which is expressly provided for by the law.”

Instead of censoring Mr. Nini, the Moroccan government should release him so he can continue running his newspaper and continue “gravely offending” public officials.

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