- The Spanish daily 'El Mundo' has been banned in Morocco to to an article written by the famous journalist Ali Lmrabet. Mr Lmrabet earlier has seen his two Moroccan satirical newspapers banned by the government and has been banned from working as a journalist for ten years by a Rabat court.
The Moroccan Communications Ministry yesterday forbade distribution of 'El Mundo', saying it contained an article by Mr Lmrabet "who claims to be the newspaper's correspondent in Rabat." The Ministry added he was not formally accredited with the Rabat government as a correspondent.
The Spanish newspaper however holds that the Moroccan argumentation is not valid. 'El Mundo' said it had no obligation to register its correspondents with any ministry, in Morocco or elsewhere.
Mr Lmrabet told the Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) that the article which caused the ban said King Mohamed VI had restricted the movements of his own mother because she had taken a lover. It quoted a former Moroccan intelligence officer.
Mr Lmrabet called the ban on the news paper "grotesque" and said that "even the most repressive regimes that forbid local journalists from writing freely don't extend the ban to their articles published in other countries."
RSF today reacted strongly to new the Moroccan attack on Mr Lmrabet. The groups said it was "shocked" at the Moroccan government's ban on distribution 'El Mundo'. "The government will stop at nothing to shut Lmrabet up," the group said in a statement. "After jailing him, harassing him and forbidding him from working as a journalist, it now wants to dissuade the world's media from giving him a voice."
Without judging the content of the article, RSF called on the Moroccan authorities to stop banning 'El Mundo' or any other Spanish publication and to drop the April 2005 ban on Mr Lmrabet working as a journalist for 10 years.
Mr Lmrabet fell out with Moroccan authorities after becoming the Kingdom's most outspoken editor. An article on the King's properties brought him to jail and saw the banning and forced closure of his two satiric weeklies, 'Demain Magazine' and 'Douman'. It is considered taboo to write even slightly critical issues about the King in Morocco.
Mr Lmrabet in 2003 was convicted and sent to prison on charges of insulting Mohammed VI, "undermining the monarchy" and "threatening the integrity of the national territory" on the basis of several articles. After spending more than seven months in prison, he was pardoned by royal decree "on humanitarian reasons." His imprisonment had caused international outrage. Mr Lmrabet still lives in Morocco but authorities have done all in their power to hinder him from working as a journalist.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.