Free Press Unlimited and PAX are concerned about what seems to be a targeted campaign against Director Maait Monjib and his Ibn Rochd centre. Some examples: in September, employee Hicham Mansouri was seriously assaulted; early November a closed seminar for citizen journalists together with Free Press Unlimited had to be cancelled because the authorities claimed it was ‘unauthorised’. The board of directors of Ibn Rochd was forced to close the centre, because this repeated interference by authorities had made their work impossible.
Since the Summer, Moroccan authorities have increasingly hindered other local and international human rights organisations as well. Meetings of the Moroccan Society for Human Rights, among others, were blocked. Amnesty International was prevented from holding its annual youth camp. ADN (an organisation for freedom of the Internet), and FreedomNow (protection of freedom of expression and press freedom) were not allowed to register earlier this year.
Independent and reliable information is essential to people’s development. Free Press Unlimited continues to support journalists and media organisations in Morocco. We hope the Human Rights Forum in Marrakech will inspire the authorities in Morocco. Citizens of Morocco who are involved in human rights should no longer be intimidated.
Ever since 2006, Free Press Unlimited and PAX have been working together with Ibn Rochd on various projects such as the promotion of investigative journalism in Morocco, the annual Festival of Press Freedom, training citizen journalists and facilitating dialogue between opposing political groups. These projects are also supported by Free Press Unlimited financially.