Morocco: WJWC stands in solidarity with journalist Bakour and calls for dropping charges against her

The Moroccan authorities continue to use the judiciary to undermine the work of journalists in the country, said the Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC). Last Monday, November 21th, the trial of journalist Hanane Bakour being prosecuted for a Facebook post by the liberal RNI party of the prime minister Aziz Akhannouch was postponed again to early next year.
 
The Court of First Instance of Salé postponed, on Monday, the fourth trial session of journalist Hanane Bakour, to January 2, 2023, who faces accusations of sharing and spreading “false allegations and facts using information systems with the intent of affecting people's private lives or defaming them."
The former journalist of the Arabic-language daily "Akhbar Al Yaoum" and editor-in-chief of "Al Yaoum 24" is tried for comments she made on Facebook, criticising the election of a president for the southeast region Guelmim-Oued Noun at a time when the parliamentary advisor for the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) was under a critical health condition.
In a Facebook post, journalist Bakour wrote that her trial has been postponed to January 2 of next year, indicating that the postponement came after a petition from her defense lawyer for reasons related to the strike the lawyers have carried out for days and due to her insistence on her right to self-defense before the court.
The WJWC has expressed its solidarity with journalist Hanane Bakour, considering what she is being exposed to as an attempt to silence her voice and confiscate her right to freedom of opinion and expression.
The organization added that the Moroccan authorities continue to use the notorious criminal law on publishing issues as a weapon to violate freedom of opinion and expression and silence critics, calling for the charges against Bakour and other prosecuted journalists in Morocco to be dropped immediately.
Finally, the WJWC renewed its call on the Moroccan authorities to abide by the provisions of Chapter 28 of the Moroccan constitution, which stipulated, among others, "freedom of the press is guaranteed and may not be limited by any form of prior censure," and to adhere to all international covenants and laws singed by Morocco regarding human rights and the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Issued by:
Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC)
November 23, 2022

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