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Cultural television programme suspended

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 24 May 2011 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has condemned the decision taken by the Moroccan authorities to stop broadcast, for the second consecutive week, of the cultural program "Masharif", which has been preparing a series about the political movement in Morocco and the 20th February Movement.

Moroccan TV issued a resolution suspending the broadcast of the program, which the well-known Moroccan writer and poet Yassin Adnan has been presenting for five years.

The decision was made by Faisal Al Arishi, general manager of the Moroccan National Society of Radio and Television Broadcasting.

The program, which airs each Wednesday, has broadcast more than 200 episodes, through which it has dealt with Moroccan and Arabic cultures in general. A number of Moroccan and Arab intellectuals have been interviewed on the program, which has attracted a large number of viewers during its five-year run, due to its credibility and professionalism.

This latest resolution was preceded by an earlier suspension of a series on Islamic intellectual Gamal El Bana, and another series on an Al Jazeera reporter in Washington, Moroccan journalist Mohamed El Alami. Moreover, the program broadcast time was changed from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.

"It is a grave mistake to close any media outlet or opinion platform. Furthermore, the policy of expropriation, blocking and banning is no longer effective in the Arab world in the wake of the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests demanding more democratic rights. The Moroccan authorities must freedom of opinion and expression," said ANHRI.

ANHRI appeals to the Moroccan authorities to stop monitoring the different media and press platforms and re-iterates the importance of freedom in creating effective media in the service of society.

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