News agency director gets two-month suspended sentence for arguing with police officer

first_img RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance RSF_en Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News Help by sharing this information News October 31, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 News agency director gets two-month suspended sentence for arguing with police officer Receive email alerts Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalistscenter_img April 15, 2021 Find out more April 28, 2021 Find out more June 8, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today at the suspended sentence of two months in prison passed by Casablanca court yesterday on AIC Press agency director Mourad Bourja for “disrespect for agent of the state in the exercise of his duties.”“Judicial harassment of the Moroccan press since the start of the year has dispelled any illusions about the government’s talk of a political opening,” the press freedom organisation said. “A wave of prosecutions against the print media shows that the ruling class is unable to tolerate criticism and promote free expression. Bourja’s trial proved to be an act of revenge against a journalist who upsets the authorities.”As well as the two-month suspended sentence, the court fined Bourja 2,500 dirhams (225 euros) and ordered him to pay 2,000 Dirhams (180 euros) in damages to the police officer who brought a complaint against him.Bourja was arrested for five hours on 28 June during an argument with a policeman outside the Spanish consulate. A few hours later, he was charged in connection with a case dating back to June 2005, when he prevented a policeman from confiscating photos taken in a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria.His trial was postponed several times because of the plaintiff’s absence. During the hearing on 23 October, the prosecution presented a witness who turned out to have no connection with the case. This lack of prosecution credibility did not, however, prevent the judge from convicting Bourja, who intends to appeal.Since the start of the year, several newspapers have been the target of prosecutions resulting in some cases in prison sentences for journalists who have tackled subjects regarded as sensitive by the authorities. News Organisation to go further News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs saylast_img read more