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Anti-corruption journalist and blogger Hassan Barhoun arrested

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed concern that the arrest of blogger and journalist Hassan Barhoun on 26 February 2009 may be an attempt to punish the journalist and cover up reports of corruption exposed through his YouTube initiative Journalists Without Limits. In the reports, Barhoun links official figures to a drug baron in Tetuan, Morocco.

Barhoun is known for his investigative reporting and exposing of corruption cases, as well as his work with Journalists Without Limits. In his last piece, he questioned the role of the prosecution in Tetuan in facilitating the escape of a drug dealer from punishment. Instead of being interrogated about his article, Barhoun was arrested without the permission of the king's deputy.

It should be mentioned that Barhoun was preparing, along with a group of Moroccan journalists and bloggers, to establish a national syndicate for electronic press in Morocco, which may be another reason for his arrest.

ANHRI condemns Barhoun's arrest and calls on Moroccan authorities to conduct a transparent and just investigation into the allegations raised by the blogger concerning judicial involvement in corruption cases, to make public the results of the investigation, and to release Barhoun without delay.

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