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Editor, NGO manager charged with "insult to God"

(ANHRI/IFEX) - ANHRI reports that the political "hesba" cases (which involve alleged insults to God, which are deemed harmful to Islamic society) that Egyptian reporters have been suffering are creeping into Morocco. The Ain Sabea court in Casa Blanca is considering an insult and libel case filed by an NGO against Edris Shehtan, editor of "Al Michaal" weekly, and Mustafa Idary, manager of a Moroccan organization for human rights in Khneifera, based on an article published about scandals involving the king's aunts.

The papers' attorneys and Mustafa managed to convince the court to summon the NGO, called "Defending the Amahzoun family", to testify in court.

The NGO requested that the court impose a fine of MD 1 million (approx. US$126,100) on Edris and sought to stop him from his press work, claiming he had insulted the royal aunts.

ANHRI considers this an example of the hostile policy against independent press in Morocco. ANHRI calls on all activists and NGOs interested in freedom of expression all over the world to support Moroccan reporters in their struggle.

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