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Expat wanderer

Moroccan Blogger Jailed

You can read the entire story, which appeared today, on BBC News Africa:

A Moroccan blogger has been jailed for two years for showing disrespect to the monarchy, say the man’s family.

Mohammed Erraji, 29, was convicted after writing an article claiming King Mohammed VI’s charitable habits were encouraging a culture of dependency.

There has been no official comment on the case, but rights groups claim Erraji did not have a fair trial.

A BBC reporter says criticising the king is an offence in Morocco and the royal family remains a taboo subject.

Morocco has previously caused international outrage with its treatment of internet users.

Earlier this year, Fouad Mortada was sentenced to three years in prison for creating a false profile on the internet site Facebook using the identity of the king’s brother.

He received a royal pardon following protests from internet users around the world.

‘Disastrous’
Erraji claimed in an internet article that the king’s charity towards Moroccans was stifling development by encouraging people to be lazy.

“This has made the Moroccans a people without dignity, who live by donations and gifts,” he wrote.
The BBC’s James Copnall in the capital, Rabat, says he was particularly critical of the practice known as grima – giving lucrative licences to run taxis and other transport in exchange for begging letters.
Erraji said this did not happen in developed countries, where hard work rather than begging is rewarded.

He was arrested by the authorities last Friday and accused of “lacking the respect due to the king”.
In court on Monday, he was given a two-year prison sentence and fined 5,000 Dirham ($630:£356).

September 10, 2008 - Posted by | Africa, Blogging, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Leadership, Living Conditions, Morocco, Political Issues, Social Issues |

7 Comments »

  1. id like to interview him, poor guy.
    againf, i would like to say something totally harshf about arabs, but i shall silence myself 🙂
    signed,
    cynic trying to be positive.

    Comment by Mrm | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. How insecure the king must be to arrest a guy for stating his opinion.

    Comment by Yousef | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. what a mean spirited guy this blogger is , the King was helping his people and all he does is complain , what the heck .
    No matter how much the king gives the people of Morocco , the population is in millions , so it won’t be enough yet this man doesn’t even want that to happen . Thank God he was in Morocco . i think BBC should leave this Blogger alone and concentrate on their Grammar

    Comment by daggero | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. this is insane… I guess no freedom of speech there!

    Comment by Ansam | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  5. Mrm – I hope he has a good lawyer! He might argue that he is criticizing a policy, not the King . . . and I think the King has a policy of pardoning our people like him. Maybe the King should hire him and put him to work!

    Yousef – I don’t think being king is an easy job. Always somebody criticizing!

    Daggero, LLLOOOLLL! I never know what you are going to say!

    Ansam – I think this is getting attention because it happens so rarely. For the most part, bloggers are given a lot of leeway.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  6. FYI there is a law in kuwait that allows the persicution of who ever bad words the ruler ,,,
    so same here take care guys 🙂

    Comment by Abdulaziz | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  7. Good point, Abdul Aziz. No one will criticize the Emir on this blog!

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 11, 2008 | Reply


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