06 August 2007

Red lines

Red lines and more red lines that grow bigger.
In one year the Moroccan Arabic magazine Nichane gets in the hands of the beast twice, la police. TelQuell magazine gets there too. censured by the Moroccan authorities. Ben-Chamsi, the director of the two publications, was heard by the Moroccan police yesterday.
According to accounts collected by Reuters, the magazines contained “articles which it said showed a lack of respect for King Mohammed and harmed public morals.” (read)
Laila Al Alami, a Moroccan writer and Blogger said:
“It's really disheartening to have to write yet another post, about yet another problem in the Moroccan press, but it seems the wheels of censorship never stop.”

Reactions to this seizure arose from disappointment with the Moroccan government that a lot of people think should make more progress in letting freedom of speech take its flow.
According to Moha Arehal, a Moroccan bloger and journalist,
“Ces décisions qui nous font revenir en arrière plusieurs dézaines d'années ne font que nuir à l'image du royaume qui se veut un exemple à suivre au niveau des pays d'Afrique du Nord et tiers monde.” (these decisions make us regress many years back)

This is happening while the case of ‘Al-Watan Al An’ is still in the hands of ‘justice’.
For Many moroccan this is a shame. What was in the magazines that deserves seizure. What did Nichane say. why Nichane? Well it is probably the only magazine of its kind that can be read and understood by many Moroccans. At least those who can read Arabic.. many city dwellers. From different social classes. Other Magazines in French, Classical Arabic , German, Spanish etc are foreign to the majority of Moroccans and “ we do not know how to read those”. They also are expensive. And you do not want to give half of your daily salary for a magazine.
Moroccans still remember the hot days of USFP, and the long glowing hot speeches of Fath Alla Oualalou criticizing the government and crossing the red lines. Now he is sitting in an air-conditioning big office with the other guys giving orders about and shutting down people. very disappointing to many of us who would like to see a morocco where issues of freedom of speech in the folds of the past.

No comments: