Reporters Without Borders denounces the relentless Moroccan persecution of Sahrawi journalists

  • Reporters without borders requires Morocco to allow the international press to enter Western Sahara
  • Urges the Moroccan Government to guarantee fair judicial processes for Sahrawi journalists and respect for their physical and psychological integrity
  • Exercising journalism in the Spanish ex-colony is an “act of heroism” and its protagonists pay with arbitrary detentions, harassment of their families, torture, unjust sentences and jail
  • Reporters WB asks Spain and France to break their usual “complicit silence” with Morocco

Alfonso Lafarga / Contramutis .- Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has denounced the persecution suffered by Sahrawi journalists by Morocco, which handles with “iron hand” the information in Western Sahara, punishes “relentlessly” the exercise of local journalism and blocks access of foreign media.

RWB requires Morocco to allow the international press to enter Western Sahara, with freedom of movement through the territory, and put an end to the expulsion of journalists, while urging the Moroccan Government to guarantee fair judicial processes for the Saharawi journalists imprisoned, with whom the demands of the UN regarding their release must be met.

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Morocco: Law Misused to Silence Reporters

Woman Who Filmed Police Faces 2 Years in Prison

(New York) HWR – Moroccan authorities are using a law designed to keep people from falsely claiming professional credentials to bring criminal charges against people trying to expose abuses, Human Rights Watch said today.

In the latest case, Nezha Khalidi, who is affiliated with the activist group Equipe Media in El-Ayoun, Western Sahara, will go on trial on May 20, 2019, accused of not meeting the requirements to call herself a journalist. Police arrested her on December 4, 2018, as she was livestreaming on Facebook a street scene in Western Sahara and denouncing Moroccan “repression.” She faces two years in prison if convicted.

“People who speak out peacefully should never have to fear prison for ‘pretending’ to be journalists,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities shouldn’t be using a law designed to keep an unqualified person from claiming to be a doctor, for example, to punish people whose commentary displeases them.” Read more

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World Press Freedom Day: “Being a journalist in occupied Western Sahara”

PUSL.- The United Nations, in one of its first general assemblies, affirmed that: “Freedom of information is a fundamental right and … the cornerstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated”.

In the occupied territories of Western Sahara this right, like many others, is not respected by Morocco, attacking, torturing and imprisoning the Sahrawis who, putting their own lives at risk, work so that the struggle for the freedom of their people does not fall into oblivion, denouncing the abuses to which they are subjected by the illegal occupier.

Morocco applies this information blockade not to Sahrawi journalists, but also the international media is banned from their work in the area and entry into the occupied territory is allowed for those who receive authorization from the Ministry of the Interior with the prior commitment to comply with the requirements demanded and desired by the regime. Read more

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