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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