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Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Morocco

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1998
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Morocco, February 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5654221.html [accessed 25 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Although the government is generally tolerant of political satire and criticism of state policy in the opposition press, journalists are aware of certain lines they cannot cross. Two subjects that are off-limits are criticism of the monarchy and any questioning of the country's territorial sovereignty over Western Sahara.

In recent years, authorities have responded to undesirable news about the king and reports on official corruption by confiscating newspapers, or temporarily banning their publication or distribution in the country. Foreign publications, including the French-language daily Le Monde, were subject to distribution bans throughout the year stemming from unfavorable articles about the government.

The country's press code further deters critical journalism, decreeing stiff prison penalties and heavy fines for journalists deemed to have offended the king and royal family, and defamed political officials. The press code also grants the Interior Ministry the power to confiscate newspapers that are a "threat to public order."

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