Record damages award against editor of Morocco’s leading daily

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first_img Receive email alerts March 26, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Record damages award against editor of Morocco’s leading daily RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance June 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara News News Help by sharing this information RSF_en News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa center_img Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders is shocked by a Rabat court ruling yesterday ordering Rachid Nini, editor of the daily newspaper Al-Massae, to pay a total of 6 million dirhams (550,000 euros) in damages and a fine of 120,000 dirhams (11,000 euros) in lawsuits brought by four deputy prosecutors accusing him of libel and “public insult.”“We are outraged by the exorbitant size of the damages award,” the press freedom organisation said. “This is not the first time Morocco’s courts have acted with a heavy hand. Certain recent court rulings have badly hurt leading Moroccan media and could lead to their disappearance. Judges should impose sentences that are proportionate to the damage caused and should ensure that press freedom is not endangered.”Four deputy prosecutors filed separate lawsuits against Nini in early February claiming they had been defamed by a report published on 18 November in his newspaper. With a circulation of 100,000, Al-Masae is Morocco’s most widely-read daily.Without naming them, the report claimed that four judges had attended a supposed gay marriage ceremony and party in Ksar Al-Kébir, a small town in northern Morocco. Seven people who attended the party were sentenced by a Rabat appeal court on 16 January to sentences ranging from four to ten months in prison.Nini told Reporters Without Borders that yesterday’s court ruling was “inexplicable and unacceptable” and reflected “a desire to destroy my newspaper and restrict free expression in Morocco.” He intends to appeal.Nini was the victim of a knife attack outside Rabat’s main railway station on 3 February. He told Agence France-Presse at the time that he was surprised that the attack took place while he was being sued. April 28, 2021 Find out more to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Organisation April 15, 2021 Find out more Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Newslast_img read more