Three-year suspended sentences for editor and reporter called “outrageous”

first_imgNews January 15, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Three-year suspended sentences for editor and reporter called “outrageous” Help by sharing this information Organisation Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa April 15, 2021 Find out more Suspended sentences of three years in prison and fines of 80,000 dirhams (7,200 euros) were handed down by a Casablanca court on Driss Ksikes, editor of the Arabic-language weekly Nichane, and one of his journalists, Sanaa Elaji, for attacking Islam and tradition morals in a feature about Moroccan humour. RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa June 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara RSF_en News News News Suspended sentences of three years in prison and fines of 80,000 dirhams (7,200 euros) were handed down by a Casablanca court today on Driss Ksikes, editor of the Arabic-language weekly Nichane, and one of his journalists, Sanaa Elaji, for attacking Islam and traditional morals in a feature about Moroccan humour. The court also ordered Nichane to be closed for two months.“We are obviously relieved that the judges decided not to approve the very severe and unfair sentences requested by the prosecutor,” said Reporters Without Borders, which had a representative in court today. “But we still think it is outrageous that a newspaper has been suspended just for publishing a few jokes about Morocco and Islam. The three-year suspended prison sentences imposed on Nichane’s editor and one of his journalists will be a permanent threat hanging over this newspaper’s courageous staff.”The press freedom organisation added: “We appeal to the Moroccan government to show restraint towards the media in the runup to the coming legislative elections. Journalists must be free to provide the public with news and information, including on matters that may annoy the authorities or upset religious believers.”Nichane’s staff also voiced relief about today’s sentence. “We are pleased that the court did not include a ban on their working as journalists in its sentence, and that the prison sentence was suspended, even if we think that three years is too much,” said Ahmed Benchemsi, the managing editor of the French-language weekly Tel Quel, which belongs to the same press group as Nichane. “The press law must be changed. The authorities announced it. I hope they do it.”The government suspended Nichane by administrative order on 20 December, just over 10 days after the publication of its 9-15 December issue, which included a feature entitled “Jokes: How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics.” Casablanca prosecutors subsequently decided to charge the newspaper with “damaging Islam” and “publishing and distributing writings contrary to morals and customs.” At the opening day of the trial on 8 January, the state prosecutor requested sentences of three to five years in prison for Ksikes and Elaji, bans on their working as journalists, and fines ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 dirhams (895 to 8,950 euros). He also called for the newspaper to be closed down for good.Launched last September, Nichane was selling nearly 15,000 copies a week before it was suspended. April 28, 2021 Find out more to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Receive email alertslast_img read more

Rhoades responds to life statement

first_imgBishop Kevin Rhoades praised Notre Dame for taking steps toward the “renewal of a culture of life,” in response to the University’s recent institutional statement that affirms its defense of human life.“I am grateful to [University President Fr. John Jenkins] and to the Notre Dame Task Force on Life for the efforts they are making to serve the Gospel of Life,” Rhoades said in an Apr. 18 issue of Today’s Catholic, the weekly newspaper serving the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.“I pray that their work will bear much good fruit,” he said.The University’s statement stemmed from a recommendation by the University’s pro-life task force, which was created by Jenkins in September.The statement said the University upholds the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, and also clarified its position on charitable gifts in the principles on charitable activity.“Our Catholic universities are in a unique position to promote the renewal of a culture of life in our society,” Rhoades said. “Being actively pro-life in teaching and research, pastoral ministry and service, Catholic universities indeed contribute to the renewal of our society and to the promotion of the common good.”Rhoades also said Notre Dame’s statement falls in line with Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.”“[Pope John Paul II] called for ‘the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves’ and wrote of the specific contribution that Catholic universities should make in building a new ‘culture of life,’ Rhoades said. “I believe that the efforts that the University of Notre Dame is making in this regard are important for the Church and for society.”last_img read more