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Magazine succumbs to financial pressure from advertising boycott

(ANHRI/IEFX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed deep sorrow and complete solidarity with the board of "Nichane", a Moroccan magazine that has decided to close down indefinitely as a result of financial difficulties arising from an advertising boycott. Pro-government companies had decided not to place any ads in the magazine because of its editorial line in support of freedoms and addressing corruption.

Nichane was founded in 2006. It is a sister publication of the French-language "Tel Quel" magazine. Nichane was known for pushing boundaries and breaking arbitrary limits placed on press freedom. In 2009, it published an article titled "Mohamed VI and 10 years in power". Since then, the magazine has been under tight control and a strict ads boycott policy from pro-government companies which, in 14 months, has led to huge losses exceeding 10M Dirhams (approx. US$1.2 million).

Gamal Eid, ANHRI executive director, said, "It is quite unfortunate that this pioneering magazine will no longer be on display in Moroccan kiosks. We will then be unable to read it or get a copy from a visiting Moroccan friend. It is deplorable that such a credible publication will no longer exist."

ANHRI warned that all publications in Arab countries face the same pressures, which threaten citizens' right to read independent newspapers and magazines that are daring and credible and that defend press freedom as a right of the people.

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