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Free Press Unlimited and PAX are concerned about the policy of intimidation carried out by the Moroccan government to silence Moroccan human rights defenders and journalists like Maati Monjib. Maati Monjib is the president of Freedom Now, an association that works to defend freedom of expression and journalism in Morocco.
Banned from leaving
On 16 September 2015 authorities briefly detained Maati Monjib at the airport in Casablanca, where he was informed that the Public Prosecutor Office had issued a travel ban against him. Two days before, he was summoned for questioning regarding his human rights activities, but never received notice of charges brought against him. Since his travel ban, Maati Monjib has been on hunger strike in protest against these restrictions. On October 13, Monjib was admitted to the hospital as a result of his fast and Free Press Unlimited is deeply concerned about his health.
No isolated incident
The travel ban issued against Maati Monjib is only the latest of a series of intimidating measures taken by the Moroccan government. Human rights defenders and journalists have increasingly been victims of harassment. March 17, 2015 investigative journalist Hicham Mansouri was imprisoned for 10 months while working on an article on state surveillance. Earlier, they forced the closing of journalistic center Ibn Rochd, which had been a partner of Free Press Unlimited. These, and other recent crack downs on individual journalists and human rights activists show growing restrictions on freedom of expression in Morocco.
Stop harrassing journalists
Independent and reliable information is essential to peoples development. Hindering freedom of expression is a violation of human rights. We believe that the EU and the Dutch embassy in Rabat should take action and urge the Moroccan authorities to stop the harassment of human rights activists and journalists. Free Press Unlimited and PAX support Maati Monjib, and calls upon the Moroccan Governments to lift all travel bans today.