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FREE THE MOROCCAN JOURNALIST RACHID NINI
Petition Background (Preamble):
By attacking one of the freest and boldest voices in the Moroccan national media, some public are deeply challenging the spirit of reforms initiatives undertaken by the Moroccan highest authority.
It is totally incomprehensible and just wrong to witness in the twentieth century especially in Morocco, a journalist that stands for values of freedom and justice, being pursued under the criminal code while the profession has its own code, the code of the press that governs it.
The Moroccan authorities had the option of conducting any kind of investigation related to Rachid Nini under the press code without having to take him in custody and treat him as a common criminal.
Rachid Nini was accused of “criticizing the head of the Moroccan security services” and “locating the secret detention center of Temara” and therefore charged with “representing a threat to national security”.
It’s clear that the Moroccan law is crying out for some serious reforms: criticizing security services should not be considered a violation of law, especially when the purpose of doing so is to enlighten the public opinion in the context of transparency and good governance.
The historic royal speech of March 9th was warmly welcomed by other countries, who admired Morocco’s initiative of changing into a more democratic system without any bloodshed or major revolution. In fact, many signs led to believe that Morocco has truly entered the era of change through anti corruption control, a new architecture of human rights, as well as the release of several political prisoners. However, the arrest of Rachid Nini and the serious accusations and the unfair sentence is clearly showing the influence of some key figures who are trying at all costs to prevent the positive change from taking place for fear of losing their personal acquisitions or comfortable positions.
In Morocco Rachid Nini is famous for being one of the few courageous voices in the media, daily reporting in his column "tchouf tchouf" the injustice, repression and the corruption within the government.
His custody was simply due to the publication of numerous articles in which he has published information on Hammouchi Abdellatif, Head of the Moroccan National Security. His articles also criticized the abuses suffered by detainees kept in the secret detention center. His columns also attacked corruption in the judicial system. Also, among the charges held against him was his request the authorities to repeal the anti-terrorism law.
Rachid Nini was pursued under the criminal law instead of the press code that should have been applied but was unfortunately put aside for political reasons.
On January 19th 2011, Rachid Niny, received the 2012 Oxfam Novib/PEN Award honoring his courage in journalism.
I support the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press in Morocco.
I call on all international organisations, media, political authorities to free Rachid Nini immediately and unconditionally.
The FREE THE MOROCCAN JOURNALIST RACHID NINI petition to Droit & Justice Association was written by Sofia Rais and is in the category Justice at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: freedom, justice, law, journalists, morocco, rachid, nini, free, expression, press, human, rights, jail, arrest, violation