Appeal court upholds suspended prison sentence for newspaper editor

first_img News News April 28, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Reporters Without Borders today condemned a Casablanca appeal court ruling on 9 May upholding a suspended sentence of a year in prison and a fine of 100,000 dirhams (9,000 euros) for Driss Chahtane, the editor of the Arabic-language weekly Al Michaâl, for allegedly libelling Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The sentence is yet another reminder of the need to decriminalize press offences, Reporters Without Borders said. Chahtane was convicted under article 52 of the Moroccan press code of “offence against a head of state.”Al Michaâl published a statement yesterday criticising the conduct of the trial. “The verdict took no account of the many complaints by the defence about flagrant procedural irregularities, above all the refusal to submit the Algerian president’s supposed petition.”The newspaper’s lawyers refused to address the court during the final hearing and staged a walk-out protesting that “the conditions of a fair trial and respect for the right of defence are not guaranteed.”The case was about a cartoon of the Algerian president published in the weekly’s 31 May – 6 June 2005 issue together with a satirical article about his private life, which he reportedly considered to be libellous. Chahtane was questioned at length by the Casablanca police and then by a Casablanca prosecutor on 5 June 2005. Receive email alerts Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Organisation Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en center_img RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News to go further Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa June 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News April 15, 2021 Find out more May 11, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Appeal court upholds suspended prison sentence for newspaper editorlast_img