Reporters Without Borders

Before hearing, call to drop terrorism charges against website editor

Before hearing, call to drop terrorism charges against website editor

Published on Friday 20 December 2013.
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Ali Anouzla, the editor of the Arabic-language version of the news website Lakome, is scheduled to appear on 23 December before an investigating judge in Salé (near Rabat) who is responsible for handling terrorism cases.

Reporters Without Borders and the Anouzla Support Committee in France call on the authorities to abandon this investigation, to drop all the charges against Anouzla and to stop blocking access to both the Arabic and French-language versions of Lakome.

“Prosecuting Anouzla under the anti-terrorism law or even the Press Code would show that the authorities are bent on persecuting a journalist known for being outspoken,” the two organizations said.

Anouzla was arrested in Rabat on 17 September for posting a link to an article in the Spanish daily El País, which in turn had a link to a video attributed to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

He was freed on 25 October after more than five weeks in “preventive detention” but continues to face a possible sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison on various charges including providing “material assistance” to a terrorist organization and “defending terrorist crimes.”

Both the Arabic and French-language versions of Lakome have been blocked since 17 October.

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