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Morocco's new press law undermined by draft penal code

Morocco's King Mohammed VI holds a book during a visit, at the presidential palace in Abidjan June 2, 2015
Morocco's King Mohammed VI holds a book during a visit, at the presidential palace in Abidjan June 2, 2015

REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

The following is an excerpt of a CPJ blog post published on 29 July 2016.

In the small, polished Moroccan capital of Rabat, pictures of King Mohamed VI, who took the throne in 1999, hang in many shops, offices, and hotels. In most of these, he is clean-shaven, smiling, and wearing a suit: a modern monarch. His image is part of the official narrative of the country as a place of moderation and progress.

However, the monarchy, along with territorial integrity and Islam, has traditionally been a "red line" for Moroccan journalists. The three taboos are a mirror image of the nation's official motto: "Allah, al Malik, al Watan" (God, the king, the nation). Moroccan courts have punished journalists with jail terms, fines, and the suspension of publications for saying the wrong thing on these subjects, according to CPJ research.

Read the full story on CPJ's website.

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