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Violations, Flimsy Evidence, Speculative Reasoning Led to 6-Year Sentence

(New York) – Omar Radi, an investigative journalist in Morocco, was denied a fair trial and sentenced to six years in prison on espionage and rape charges, Human Rights Watch said today, after an extensive review of the case. An appeals session in his…
Supporters of Omar Radi in front of the Casablanca Courthouse, Morocco.
News

Joint Call to Moroccan Authorities

As the trial of award-winning journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi is set to begin in Morocco on April 6, 2021, the undersigned organizations call on Moroccan authorities to grant him provisional release and guarantee fair trial proceedings…
Logos of 15 signatory organizations
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Omar Radi Abusively Jailed on Charges That Seem Flimsy, Political

  (Washington, DC) – Moroccan authorities have jailed an outspoken journalist and activist, Omar Radi, on espionage and other charges that seem backed by scant evidence, Human Rights Watch said today. His judicial investigation, scheduled to…
Journalist and activist Omar Radi waits outside the court in Casablanca, Morocco, March 12, 2020.
News

Two Prosecutions Highlight Threats to Press Freedom

Morocco and Algeria are neighbors and rivals, sharing one of the world’s longest closed-land borders, vying for diplomatic supremacy in the Maghreb region, sparring over Western Sahara, and insulting each other’s governments daily via state-influenced…
Journalists Khaled Drareni (Left) and Omar Radi (Right)
News

Faces Up to a Year in Prison at January 2 Trial

(Tunis, December 28, 2019) – Moroccan authorities should unconditionally release and drop charges against a journalist jailed for a 9 months-old tweet criticizing a judge, Human Rights Watch said today. Omar Radi, 33, is due to be tried…
Journalist Omar Radi in Casablanca, Morocco, 2018. © Fanny Hedenmo
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Hamid Mahdaoui Convicted for Criticizing Protest Ban

UPDATE: On September 11, 2017, the Al-Hoceima Appeals Court increased the three-month prison sentence handed down by the Al-Hoceima First Instance Court against Mahdaoui on July 25, 2017, to one year. (Tunis) – A Moroccan court on…
Screenshot from a video of Hamid Mahdaoui, a Moroccan journalist and director of the news website badil.info, speaking on his Youtube channel.
Report
Summary Since Mohammed VI became king in 1999, tens of Moroccans have been imprisoned solely for their nonviolent speech, under both the press code and the penal code. They include journalists convicted of defaming persons,…
News

Harsh Penal Code Undercuts Press Law Reforms

(Tunis) – Morocco’s recent overhaul of its speech laws leaves intact the country’s famous red lines on critical speech, as well as other provisions that could land people in prison solely for peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said…
Newsstand in Rabat, Morocco. © 2017 Human Rights Watch
News

Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News

Mohammed VI’s First White House Visit in Decade

(Washington, DC) – President Barack Obama should tell King Mohammed VI of Morocco that US support for the reform process in Morocco depends on moving beyond rhetoric and making tangible change, Human Rights Watch said today. The reforms should include…
News

Detention for Article About Jihadist Video Threatens Reporting on Extremism

(Rabat) – Moroccan authorities arrested a prominent journalist on September 17, 2013, after he posted an article on the website he directs about a jihadist video. The Moroccan authorities should free the journalist, Ali Anouzla, unless they produce…
News

Panama Releases Ex-CIA Figure Wanted for Rendition

(Milan) – Italy should continue its efforts to obtain justice for abuses by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), despite Panama’s decision to free a former CIA Milan station chief wanted by Italy. Media reports indicated that Panamanian…
News

Despite 2011 Constitutional Guarantees, Repressive Laws Still in Force

(Rabat) – Morocco’s authorities should free a student convicted of offending the dignity of the king, Human Rights Watch said today. Two years after adopting a constitution that enshrines freedom of expression, Morocco should abolish the repressive laws…
News

New Move Against International Media Two Years After Al Jazeera Banned

(Rabat) – Moroccan authorities should restore the accreditation of Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist Omar Brouksy and stop retaliating against foreign media for what they report. On October 4, 2012, authorities withdrew Brouksy’s accreditation, citing…
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Rights-Friendly New Constitution Requires Revision of Repressive Speech Laws

(Washington, DC) – US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton should urge Morocco’s new chief of government Abdelilah Benkirane to lead the process of revising laws that impose prison terms for peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said today. Clinton…
News

Press Code Undermines Constitutional Free Speech Guarantees

(Rabat) – Morocco should stop banning publications on the grounds that they “harm Islam,” Human Rights Watch said, in a letter today to Communication Minister Mustapha Khalfi. Khalfi said on February 3, 2012, that he had banned the February 2 issue of…