Letter to the EU: the case of Franco-Moroccan journalist Maâti Monjib

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Maâti Monjib

Maâti Monjib is a historian and journalist who has been imprisoned by the Moroccan authorities for ‘fraud’ and ‘undermining state security’. Maâti has gone on hunger strike after his verdict to protest his arbitrary sentencing. He has lost 12 kilos since then, and as he already suffers from diabetes and heart problems, his health is at serious risk.

Update: Moroccan journalist, human rights defender and historian Maâti Monjib was released 23 March 2021 from the Al Arjat 2 prison near Rabat, after 20 days of hunger strike. 

Free Press Unlimited, Reporters Without Borders and the other 13 signatories, are of the opinion that the real reasons behind his sentencing are his efforts in investigative journalism and his advocacy for democracy and a free press in Morocco. Monjib’s conviction is a reflection of the continuing decline of Morocco’s respect for human rights such as freedom of expression with critical voices increasingly being targeted via legal means.

Free Press Unlimited, Reporters Without Borders and the other signatories of the letter are calling on the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell to urge the Moroccan authorities to release Maâti Monjib, as well as all others who have been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Freedom of Expression in Morocco

Since late 2013, journalists, activists and other critics of the government have been faced with systematic targeting, harassment and detention by the government. Moroccan authorities increasingly turn to repression when faced with criticism and growing discontent among their population. A pattern can be seen where the authorities imprison critical journalist and activists based on false charges such as rape or fraud. To protest his arbitrary sentencing Monjib started a hunger strike on March 4th.

Release Maâti Monjib

We urge the EU, specifically High Representative Borrell and Special Representative Gilmore, to call on Moroccan authorities to release Maâti and other journalists currently imprisoned. Moreover, the EU should call on the Moroccan authorities to respect the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression and end their repression of human rights. We also call on the EU Delegation in Rabat to provide support to the persecuted journalists.

Read the letter here:

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Subject:
Policy and advocacy, 
Safety of journalists, 
Legal safety