Morocco - Alerts
Hamid Naïmi, a Moroccan journalist and opposition activist based in a Spanish enclave, is the target of death threats of presumed Moroccan origin.
Mohamed Sokrate is well known for his defence of secularism and civil liberties as well as his criticism of the government. He was a member of the 20 February Youth Movement in 2011.
Mouad Belghouat, better known as “al-Haqed”, has been in pretrial custody since March 29 because of his rap song “Kilab ed-Dowla” (Dogs of the State), which denounces police corruption, and a YouTube video set to the song.
In one of his songs, Megaz El Haked criticised the political situation in the country, which authorities considered a defamatory statement against public officials.
Walid Bahomane's sentence has been extended from one year to 18 months in prison, while Abdelsamad Haydour's sentence of three years' imprisonment was confirmed on appeal.
Beni Bouayach, one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the country, has been the site of regular demonstrations since the beginning of March, where protesters have called for equality and social justice in the face of what they deem to be exclusion practiced by the authorities.
Authorities also banned the distribution of the 26 February issue of "El País" on the grounds that it contained defamatory statements “attacking His Majesty’s image and the country’s institutions.”
Despite the government's denial of the arrests, at least two groups of activists face trial for distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the elections.
Abdul-Samad al-Haidour was sentenced to three years in prison and fined for critical comments he made in a video clip disseminated on YouTube.
Morocco withstood pressure from Iranian authorities to ban the film in May 2008 and it was shown in the Meknes International Festival of Animated Film as well as the Casablance Film Festival in 2007.
Radwan Hifani was denied access to his office due to his publicly-expressed solidarity with Rachid Nini, the imprisoned editor-in-chief of "el-Masaa" newspaper.
The authorities have given no reason for the expulsion of Abdelhafiz al-Baqali, who has been working in the capital for two years.
The rate of voter participation is being closely watched because it is seen as a gauge of public enthusiasm for the reforms that King Mohammed VI initiated during 2011.
On 24 October, an appeal court upheld Rachid Nini's one-year prison sentence and 1,000 dirham fine.
Thirty female protesters and children, backed by 3 figures known for their hostility to the 20 February movement, tried to storm the headquarters of the independent daily newspaper "Akhbar Al-Youm."
Since Moroccans began demonstrating in February to demand major political reforms, police have responded on several occasions with extreme brutality.
Omar and Jalal Makhfi were fired on 21 June because the latter referred on the air to opposition calls for protests against the Moroccan referendum on a proposed constitutional reform.
Rachid Nini, who has been detained since 28 April, was tried on charges of disinformation and attacking state institutions, public figures and the "security and integrity of the nation and citizens".
The decision to suspend the "Masharif" programme may be linked to the fact that a series about the political movement in Morocco and the 20th February Movement has been in the works.
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The decision to withhold media credentials appears to have been motivated by government displeasure with the news organisation's coverage of the Western Sahara conflict.