After a clash between protestors and police in Sidi Ifni lead to injuries and possible deaths, Al Jazeera issued a report at a news conference held by the Moroccan Human Rights Centre that several protestors had been killed. The Moroccan authorities, angered by the report, charged Al Jazeera's Rabat bureau chief with publishing false information on June 13.
Unfortunately, few news sources and few bloggers have spoken up about the issue. Notably, North Africa Notes, an expatriate blogger based in Morocco, had this to say:
I think it represents a larger issue than just being able to “say what you want to say,” and goes towards the ability of the average Moroccan to honestly evaluate their life and their government, and ask questions about accountability.
And ofcourse, Al-Jazeera is an easy scapegoat. They are the news agency every country who is doing things they would rather not want us to know about villifies.
Keep Hope Alive
Christine Benlafqih of Arabisto.com was displeased:
Perhaps all of this wouldn’t seem so spectacular except for the fact that last month, the Moroccan government blocked Al Jazeera from continuing its daily news broadcasts on the Maghreb countries. The program had been airing for well over a year, and the withdrawal of its broadcast frequency over “technical and legal problems” was unexpected and without clear explanation.
No wonder Reporters Without Borders jumped in last month to say something about it. Perhaps they’ll speak up again.