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International call on Moroccan authorities to drop charges against human rights defenders
Maâti Monjib, Hicham Mansouri, Samad Iach, Mohamed Elsabr and Hisham Almiraat (real name Hisham Khribchi) are facing charges of “threatening the internal security of the State”, an offense that can lead to up to five years in prison. Rachid Tarek and Maria Moukrim are facing charges of “receiving foreign funding without notifying the General Secretariat of the government”, which if found guilty, can result in fines.
The trial for the case is scheduled for November 19th, 2015. Morocco has seen a dramatic increase in human rights violations and attacks against journalists in the past year. Crackdowns on independent media, human rights defenders and civil society have led to a stifling environment that limits freedom of expression and association in the country.
We call the international community’s attention to the continuous interrogations, harassment, threats and arrests, as a deliberate attempt by the Moroccan authorities to silence dissidents. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right (Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The Moroccan government violates this universal right with the charges against Maâti Monjib, Hicham Mansouri, Samad Iach, Hisham Almiraat, Mohamed Elsabr, Rachid Tarek and Maria Moukrim.
We urge the Moroccan authorities to drop all charges and end the harassment of human rights activists and journalists. Freedom of expression should not be on trial.
This statement is supported by:
- Free Press Unlimited
- Committee to Protect Journalists
- Media Legal Defence Initiative
- Article 19
- Privacy International
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Nawaat (Tunisia)
- Al Khatt
- Editorial Board, Mamfakinch.com, Morocco
- Ron Deibert, Director, The Citizen Lab
- The Association for Progressive Communications