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Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Morocco

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Morocco , February 1997, available at: [accessed 25 November 2017]
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 in recent years the press has enjoyed expanded freedom, clear limits exist for journalists in Morocco. The press code, for example, prohibits any writing that the authorities deem insulting to Islam or calls into question Morocco's territorial integrity – specifically, its sovereignty over Western Sahara. Authorities also reserve the right to seize newspapers or other publications if they contain articles that are a "threat to public order." One of the more sensitive topics for the government, however, is the royal family. The publication of news on the king and his family is subject to prior authorization – a restriction which is, in effect, political censorship. Furthermore, Article 77 of the press code prohibits news reporting or opinion that insults the king or his relatives.

In October, authorities lifted an 11-month distribution ban on the Paris-based weekly magazine Juene Afrique, which had stemmed from an article that discussed King Hassan II's failing health. But the following month, officials placed an indefinite ban on the Arabic weekly Al-Ousbou al-Sahafi.

January 28

The Jan. 28 edition of the daily Anoual was seized by the Interior Ministry without explanation. Officials from the newspaper, however, maintained that the reason for the confiscation was the publication of excerpts from a book on the Moroccan monarchy.

November 20
Al-Ousbou al-Sahafi, CENSORED

The Interior Ministry imposed an indefinite ban on the weekly political newspaper Al-Ousbou al-Sahafi. Authorities provided no official reason for the ban.

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