Morocco: Whether the following books: "Mon ami le roi; Hassan II"; and "Les Complots internes" are banned in Morocco; how the police treat people who are caught in possession of these books
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||17 September 2003|
|Citation / Document Symbol||MAR41965.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Morocco: Whether the following books: "Mon ami le roi; Hassan II"; and "Les Complots internes" are banned in Morocco; how the police treat people who are caught in possession of these books, 17 September 2003, MAR41965.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd2020.html [accessed 1 March 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
The following books are reportedly banned in Morocco: Notre ami le roi (Reporters sans frontières 26 Mar. 2002; Internatif Organization n.d.), The Commander of the Faithful, a book on Moroccan politics published in the 1970s (Index on Censorship 26 Sept. 1997) and Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (HRW 2002, 454).
Country Reports 2002 states that during the course of 2002 "many books that openly criticized Morocco's past were published and sold freely;" however, "five books remained banned, all relating to disappearances and the regime of King Hassan II" (31 Mar. 2003). In 1996 Moroccan police reportedly detained "for some hours," Antoine Gallimard, the French editor of Notre ami le roi, who had been invited to the "Salon du livre" at Casablanca (Western Sahara Weekly News 11-17 Nov. 1996). According to Réseau Voltaire, Antoine Gallimard was later expelled from Morocco (11 Nov. 1996).
The International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters sans frontières (RSF) both point out that the March (2002) issue of VSD, a French magazine, was censored by the government (2002; 26 Mar. 2002). Although no official explanation was given, the two sources opine that VSD's censure was related to the publication of an article entitled "The Man who Doesn't Want to be King" (IPI 2002; RSF 26 Mar. 2002), which referred to two books: Mon ami le roi (1990) and Le Dernier roi (2001), written by two French writers, Jean-Pierre Tuquoi and Gilles Perrault (BiblioMonde n.d.a; ibid. n.d.b).
According to IPI's 2002 World Press Freedom Review, "harassment of Demain Magazine publication director Lmrabet reached a new level of severity on 21 November when the Rabat Tribunal sentenced him to four months in prison and a 30,000 Dirham [(US$2608.70 (West Africa 7 - 13 July 2003, 34)] fine, for the "distribution of false information undermining or likely to undermine public order" (IPI 2002).
In late May 2003, Lmrabet was sentenced to four years imprisonment "for slandering the king" (AFP 23 May 2003). Apparently, his magazines "published articles on topics including a parliamentary vote on the king's civil list, the budget of the royal palace, and a cartoon on the history of slavery in Morocco" (Middle East Times 6 June 2003).
No mention of whether the books Hassan II and Les Complots internes are banned and on how people caught with these books are treated by the police could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France Presse (AFP). 23 May 2003. "Maroc: l'incarcération d'un journaliste jugée illégale par son avocat." (LEXIS/NEXIS)
BiblioMonde. n.d.a. "Maroc: Liberté de presse."
_____. n.d.b. "Dernier roi (Le) par Jean-Pierre Tuquoi."
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. "Morocco."
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 2002. Human Rights Watch World Report 2002. New York: Human Rights Watch.
Index on Censorship. 26 September 1997. Brian Edwards. "The Obscure Language of Survival."
Internatif Organization. n.d. "Notre Ami On-Line."
International Press Institute (IPI). 2002.2002 World Press Freedom Review. "Morocco."
Middle East Times [Rabat]. 6 June 2003. "Morocco Editor Who Slandered King Stays in Jail, Appeal Hearing Adjourned."
Reporters sans frontières (RSF). 26 March 2002. "Morocco."
Réseau Voltaire. 11 November 1996. "Hassan II fait expulser un éditeur français."
West Africa [London]. 7 - 13 July 2003. "African Currency Table."
Western Sahara Weeekly News. 11-17 November 1996. No. 46. "French Editor Arrested in Morocco and Expelled."
Additional Sources Counsulted
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Index on Censorship
International Freedom of Expression (IFEX)
La Lettre de Reporters sans frontières
Resource Centre. Country File.
Internet sources, including:
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Writers in Prison