Thursday, April 2, 2015
Free Press Unlimited is concerned about the recent detention and conviction of journalist Hicham Mansouri from Morocco. Hicham is project manager for the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism (AMJI), which was founded with the help of Free Press Unlimited.

This is not the first time

On 17 march 2015 Hicham was beaten up and stripped naked by ten police men after police forced themselves into his house. Hicham had been working on a investigative piece about electronic state surveillance. This is not the first time Hicham has been assaulted. Last September Hicham Mansouri was beaten up by what appeared to be two security agents in plain clothes. Hicham just came back from a meeting with the head of human rights organization Freedom Now, Maati Monjib.

 

Policy to silence Moroccan journalists

These recent events are in line with what seems to be a policy of intimidation by the Moroccan government to silence Moroccan human rights defenders and journalists like Hicham Mansouri. Last November a closed seminar for citizen journalists organized by AMJI and Free Press Unlimited was blocked by the Moroccan Government claiming it was ¨unauthorized.¨ In November journalistic center Ibn Rochd, which has been a partner of Free Press Unlimited as well, was forced to close down after repeated interference by the authorities.

 

Stop assaulting journalists

Independent and reliable information is essential to peoples development. Free Press Unlimited continues to support journalists and media organizations in Morocco. Free Press Unlimited has hope that the EU and the Dutch embassy in Rabat will pressure the Moroccan government for the release of Hicham Mansouri and to urge the Moroccan authorities to stop assaulting and intimidation human rights activists and journalists.