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ANHRI condemns attack on headquarters of newspaper

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 11 October 2011 - ANHRI condemns the attack on the headquarters of the independent daily newspaper "Akhbar Al-Youm" in Casablanca on 9 October.

According to a statement issued by the newspaper on 10 October, 30 female protesters and children, backed by three figures known for their hostility to the 20 February movement, tried to storm the headquarters of the newspaper while holding banners bearing hostile slogans against the editorial team. They also held pictures of the king and national flags, repeating chants that curse the newspaper and its editors, calling them traitors and collaborators. In addition, they burned a number of copies of the newspaper in front of the building. The protest was held on the grounds that the newspaper concentrated its coverage on activities of the 20 February movement.

Seeking radical reform at the political and social level in Morocco, the youth movement of 20 February organized a number of peaceful protests.

"Gathering before the headquarters of an independent newspaper in an attempt to storm is not acceptable. Everybody has the right to freely express his opinion without prejudice to the freedom of others, as long as it remains peaceful," said ANHRI.

"Attempts to intimidate journalists and intervene in the editorial policy of a newspaper are attacks on freedom of opinion and expression. It further complicates the matter when political slogans and accusations of treason and collaboration are also used against those that happen to have a different point of view," added ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Moroccan authorities to affirm their genuine intention fir reform by ensuring freedom of opinion and expression in the country.

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