Sustained crackdown on independent reporting in Morocco

first_img Help by sharing this information Media freedom has been in retreat in the past few months in Morocco, as the kingdom’s authorities have cracked down on journalists and three government bills that could improve the legislative environment for the media have stalled in parliament. Organisation April 15, 2021 Find out more Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News News News Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Receive email alerts News RSF_en April 28, 2021 Find out more March 5, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Sustained crackdown on independent reporting in Morocco Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists to go further Officials have above all been putting pressure on the press to ensure that “sensitive” subjects are not covered in a free and independent manner.One of the most spectacular examples of this crackdown was the deportation on 16 February of French journalists Jean-Louis Perez and Pierre Chautard, who were doing a report for France 3 on the economic and social situation in Morocco four years after the “Moroccan Spring.”Before seizing their video recordings and putting them on a flight to Paris, the authorities “arrested” them at the headquarters of Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH), one of the country’s leading human rights NGOs, which the interior ministry has accused of “undermining the actions of the security forces.” This operation was carried by about 20 police officers and representatives of the Rabat wilaya (regional government), who injured an activist as they stormed into the AMDH’s headquarters.In a release following the raid, Reporters Without Borders condemned this disgraceful act of censorship and urged the authorities to return the confiscated video material.In January, a France 24 crew was prevented from filming a programme in the series “Hadith Al Awassim” (Debated in Capital Cities) in an auditorium it had rented in Rabat. Accompanied by police officers, an interior ministry official arrived and ordered the journalists to cut short the filming of the programme (entitled “Can we laugh about everything?”). He also confiscated the video footage they had recorded, returning it the next day after viewing it.Without giving any explanation, the authorities prevented an international conference on investigative journalism from being held in a Rabat hotel on 22 January on the initiative of Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Journalists and experts from Morocco, France, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and other countries, as well as Moroccan communication minister Mustapha El Khalfi, were to have taken part but, on the eve of the conference, the interior ministry gave the hotel’s management verbal instructions to prevent it from taking place.As a result, the organizers had to change the venue and hold the conference at the AMDH’s headquarters without the minister.Sahrawi journalist Mahmod Al-Lhaissan was released provisionally on 25 February, eight months after his arrest in El Aaiún, the capital of Western Sahara (a territory controlled by Morocco since 1975) but is still facing trial on charges of participating in an “armed gathering,” obstructing a public thoroughfare, attacking officials while they were on duty, and damaging public property.Lhaissan is a reporter for a TV station operated by the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi pro-independence movement backed by Algeria. According to local NGOs, he was arrested because of his coverage of Sahrawi demonstrations after an Algeria-Germany World Cup match on 30 June that quickly took on a pro-independence character. His coverage drew attention to the force used by the Moroccan police to disperse demonstrators.Meanwhile, the three media reform bills – on “press and publishing,” the “status of professional journalists” and the “National Press Council” – that the communication ministry unveiled on 18 October have yet to be adopted by parliament.In its comments on the reform package in November, Reporters Without Borders noted that the abolition of prison sentences for most media offences (but not insulting the king or religion or “endangering” territorial integrity) was one of its most innovative aspects.But journalists fear that disproportionate and exorbitant fines will replace prison terms, and are calling for changes to the legislative package.“The provisions on the confidentiality of journalists’ sources and defamation proceedings are a big step forward but they need to be tightened and reinforced in order to constitute effective guarantees,” Reporters Without Borders said. June 8, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Lady Bulldogs Defeat Lady Knights

first_imgDogs over Knights in an early evening out…From Coach Shelly Prickel:The Batesville JV Volleyball team extended their record to 12-4 with a commanding 25-7, 25-10 win over South Dearborn. Grace Sarringhaus and Kerigan Haskamp were both 8 for 9 from the service line earning 7 points including 4 and 2 aces respectively. Regina Gerstbauer was perfect on all 8 of her serve attempts with 6 points including 3 aces. Sarringhaus had 5 kills in her 8 spike attempts, while Katie Bedel earned 4 kills in 10 swings. Nikki Fox had 10 digs to lead the back row. Belle Wolters had 6 assists while connecting on all 15 of her sets for the match.From the Varsity side of the net, The Dogs also made short work of the Knights, winning in25-8, 25-16, 25-16.  #7 Kylie laker had 7 aces on the evening while also connecting on 3 kills and 12 assists.  Leading the kills for the evening was #5 Macy Prickel with 7 kills and her own 2 service aces.  Not to be outdone form the service line was #17 Abigail Westerfeld with 4 Aces and 7 assists.  Full box scores and stats will be on MaxPreps tomorrow.  the win takes the team to 11-9 on the season and 5-5 in the EIAC.The Varsity team will travel to the Greenfield Central Cougar challenge on Saturday, and see Daleville and Lighthouse Christian in the first pooling. While the Freshman team will host the Freshman EIAC Tourney.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Jody Thomas.last_img read more

Skaneateles boys soccer captures state Class B championship

first_img Tags: boys soccerskaneateles Then, after edging Oneonta 1-0 in the regional final, it was on to Middletown, where in Saturday’s state semifinal Skaneateles went up against undefeated, state no. 1-ranked Haverling (Section V) and proved that it could overcome a deficit in earning a 3-1 victory over the Rams.Perhaps what helped the Lakers was that it didn’t trail for long. In the 15th minute, Haverling inched out in front 1-0 thanks to Kiefer Calkins’ goal, but less than a minute later Tylar Moss curved a corner kick that eluded Rams defenders and found the net, tying it.And it stayed 1-1 for a while, despite Haverling having all kinds of opportunities. The Rams took 11 shots and had 11 corner kicks, but were constantly turned back, Andrew Neumann making a series of great stops.That defensive work was rewarded when Owen Cheney scored in the 54th minute, pushing Skaneateles in front. with 12 minutes left, Haverling nearly tied it, but Neumann smothered Teddie Robbins’ point-blank attempt.Not sitting back, the Lakers sealed its trip to the state final when Cheney found the net again with 4:54 left.Then Skaneateles watched as Center Moriches, the 2017 state champions from Long Island, survived penalty kicks with Schuylerville, a long and tense battle that, theoretically, would give the Lakers an edge when it met the Red Devils in the title game.Brendan Powers nearly scored in the opening minutes, the first of many opportunities on both sides. Alex Arefyev’s free kick late in the first half got close, too, but was turned away by Raupp, whose aggression would test the Lakers throughout the day.A wild sequence early in the second half saw Center Moriches twice nearly go in front. Minutes later, Moss had a possible go-ahead goal negated by offsides. Then the defenses dug in, making it clear that whoever did convert would claim the state title.The Red Devils nearly did so with three minutes left, the rebound of a long free kick by Anthony Sundermann deflected just wide, and regulation ended 0-0. Now, either 30 minutes of overtime would settle it, or Skaneateles and Center Moriches would share the title.All through the first 15-minute extra period, Cheney had threatened, including a shot from the left side that just missed the right side of the net.Then the second OT started, and with 8:39 left Cheney again found his way into an open spot, beat all the Center Moriches defenders – and then delivered a goal that touched off a state championship celebration that continued all the way back home to Skaneateles.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story When the Lakers won its only other state championship in 2010, it was an undefeated team full of experienced players that fully expected to end the season on top.That same confidence was present on the 2019 Skaneateles squad, but it was a younger group that experienced plenty of ups and downs, and had lost its last two regular-season games, giving no hint that it would go on a memorable post-season run.But then the Lakers routed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (7-0), vanquished archrival Marcellus and no. 2 seed Clinton by 1-0 margins, and then survived a tense 2-1 battle with reigning state champion Westhill to reclaim the sectional Class B title.center_img Owen Cheney had found his way forward many previous times on this day, only to get turned back. Now, though, he made one more venture through the defense, sized up goalkeeper Colin Raupp, and slipped the ball past him into the net.And with that single play, Cheney had delivered the Skaneateles boys soccer team the state Class B championship, gained through a 1-0, double-overtime victory over Center Moriches in Sunday’s title game at Middletown High School.More than 103 minutes of action had gone without a goal before the Lakers sophomore delivered the decisive blow that allowed his side to begin and end this decade atop the state Class B ranks.last_img read more