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Morocco: FIDH condemns detention of journalists Hamid El Mahdaoui and Rabie Al-Albak

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The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders reacted to the condemnation of Mr. Hamid El Mahdaoui, director of the Moroccan news website Badil.info, and the detention of Mr. Rabie Al-Albak, correspondent of Badil.info in Al Hoceima, as well as the degradation of his health, on the website of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH).

As a reminder, on 12 September 2017, the Al Hoceima Court of Appeal sentenced Mr. Hamid El Mahdaoui to one year in prison and 20,000 Dirhams in fine for «incitement to commit a serious or minor offense by means of speeches and shouting ... in a public place», «follow-up» and «participation in the organization of an unauthorized demonstration» according to articles 299-1 and 299-2 of the Criminal Code and 14 of the Dahir on public gatherings. Following the delivery of the decision, Mr. Hamid El Mahdaoui went on a hunger strike.

The Observatory was also informed of the serious deterioration in the state of health of Mr. Rabie Al-Ablak, who was transferred on 27 July 2017 to the Moulay Youssef Hospital in Casablanca from Oukacha prison where he had been detained since on May 28, 2017.

The Observatory expresses «its deepest concern that the arbitrary detention of Messrs. Hamid El Mahdaoui and Rabie Al-Ablak and the condemnation of Hamid El Mahdaoui constitute an obstacle to freedom of the press and a real harassment against journalists of Badil.info, aiming only to sanction their work of defense of human rights and coverage of the social movement that has known the Moroccan Rif for more than nine months».

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