Sign up for weekly updates

Blogger recently sentenced for criticising king released pending outcome of appeal

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders hails the 11 September 2008 decision by an Agadir court to provisionally release blogger Mohamed Erraji pending the outcome of his appeal against the two-year prison sentence he received on 8 September for criticising the king in an online article. Erraji had been held in Inzegane prison, near Agadir.

"We are relieved by Erraji's provisional release," Reporters Without Borders said. "The Moroccan judicial system must now hear his appeal in a proper manner. We hope the outcome will be fair. Erraji is not guilty of insulting the king. We hope the court will not uphold the prison sentence."

Erraji's lawyer filed the request for a provisional release on 9 September. He told Reporters Without Borders: "His trial was conducted badly. The police, the prosecutors and the local authorities imprisoned Mohamed Erraji in order to dispose of the case. His provisional release is the result of strong pressure. The decision came from a very high level."

The two-year prison sentence and a fine of 5,000 dirhams (approx. 430 euros) were imposed on Erraji at the end of a summary trial on 8 September. He was found guilty of "disrespect for the king" under article 41 of the Moroccan press law. A court will begin hearing his appeal on 16 September.

Latest Tweet:

Local journalist Ismail Bouzreeba al-Zway detained in eastern Libya since December 20 @CPJMENA

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.