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Home > Country focus > Morocco > Morocco: Appeal Court Jails the journalist “Mustafa Al-Hasnawi” for 3 (...)

Morocco: Appeal Court Jails the journalist “Mustafa Al-Hasnawi” for 3 Years

Tuesday 29 October 2013, by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, strongly condemns the Moroccan Judiciary blow to the press freedom, particularly following the decision of Morocco’s Appeal Court that issued yesterday, Monday, to jail the journalist and human right activist “Mustafa Al-Hasnawi” for three years, after the commutation of the first degree sentence issued against him, which is 4-year imprisonment.

Mustafa Al-Hasnawi, a blogger and journalist, is well-known for advocating the rights of the detainees, who belong to the Islamic stream. Al-Hasnawi was summoned for questioning on May 16 by the National Brigade of the Judicial Police. Then, the brigade detained him and called his family to inform them that Mustafa will be detained for investigation. The journalist was accused of terrorism and was referred to the Appeal Court, which ordered on July 11 to jail him for four years.

However, Al-Hasnawi’s defense lawyer challenged the sentence. During the appeal hearing yesterday, the court ordered the commutation of sentence for one year and to jail the journalist for three years.

ANHRI said that, “This decision is a strong blow to the press freedoms in Morocco. It makes us worry about the freedom of press freedoms under stretching the term “terrorism” by the Moroccan authorities to silence the journalists and retaliate against them because of their career’.

The investigative magistrate of the terrorism cases in the Appeal Court in Salé city decided on October 24 to release the prominent journalist “Ali Anzoula”, head of the site “Lakome”, due to his health condition, after responding to the request submitted by the defense lawyer. The journalist is still standing trial over the accusation of terrorism and he is threatened to be jailed for several years.

ANHRI expressed its concern over the extreme and escalating hostility of Morocco in addressing the press freedoms, which is a black spot in the file of human rights and freedoms file.

ANHRI warns the Moroccan authorities of continuing their hostility to the freedoms and stretching the term “terrorism” to be used in facing the opinion makers. ANHRI demands from the authorities to end all the trials of the journalists as well as to drop all the charges against them, in addition to releasing the journalist “Mustafa Al-Hasnawi”.

SOURCE: http://www.anhri.net/en/?p=14051

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