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French magazine censored for publishing images from "Persepolis"

(ANHRI/IFEX) – Cairo, 9 February 2012 – ANHRI condemns the Moroccan authorities for its confiscation of the most recent issue of the French magazine "Le Nouvel Observateur" after it published an image from the French-Iranian film "Persepolis".

"Le Nouvel Observateur"'s most recent issue was supposed to be distributed on 2 February 2012. It included an article on "Persepolis", an animated film about the suffering of an Iranian family following the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the main character's subsequent exile to France. Morocco withstood pressure from Iranian authorities to ban the film in May 2008 and it was shown in the Meknes International Festival of Animated Film (FICAM) in Morocco. It was also shown in the Casablanca Film Festival (Casa Cine) in 2007.

This is not the first time "Persepolis" has been at the center of a controversy. The head of the Tunisian satellite TV Nesma is currently facing legal action for airing the film dubbed into Arabic. His next hearing is expected to be held in April 2012.

"Freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed by international conventions. The Moroccan authorities have to guarantee this right. Censorship and confiscation policies belong to the past and are no longer valid at this age, especially in the light of the Arab Spring," said ANHRI.

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