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Moroccan Bloggers Strike for Erraji

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Morocco, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, Protest, Technology

When Moroccan blogger Mohammed Erraji was arrested [1] last week, the blogoma's thoughts turned immediately to the case of Fouad Mourtada [2], the young man arrested earlier this year for impersonating Prince Moulay Rachid [3] on Facebook. And just as they did when Mourtada faced imprisonment [4], Moroccan bloggers mobilized to support Erraji.

Taking a cue from DigiActive [5], bloggers from all over the world sent photo messages [6]:


Others joined the strike initialized by blogger Larbi [8] via e-mail (his message is posted [9] in French and English on my own blog).

A Moro in America [10], a Moroccan who lives in the States, made the following announcement:

I am joining Moroccan bloggers in their 24 hour strike in support for Mohamed Erraji.

While Reb [11], an American studying the Moroccan blogosphere, also announced she would go on strike:

On September 15, this blog will be on strike to express solidarity with the efforts to acquit Mohamed Erraji. To learn more follow this link: http://soutienerraji.blogspot.com/

Myrtus too took part, writing [12]:

I believe he's entitled to his freedom of expression and we're all entitled to either agree or disagree with him…..or even ingnore him entirely if the Moroccan authorities had not robbed him of his freedom.

Moroccan blogger and author Laila Lalami [13], meanwhile, was shocked at the way some commentators online excused the Government for arrested and trying Mohammed Erraji – while blaming the victim. She explained:

I have been reading comments on a few Moroccan blogs about the Mohammed Erraji affair [14], and while the majority of people support Erraji's right to free expression, I have to say I'm appalled at the way in which some of the commenters excuse the government and blame the victim. The angry responses range from attacks on the blogger for breaking the law (by, apparently, expressing his opinion) to attacks on his website for being trashy (it's true it's a tabloid, but if you want to read lies and omissions any day of the week, you could do no worse than the government rag).  It's disheartening.

Numerous other bloggers participated in the strike. Among them:
Miss Archi [15] [fr]
Lady Zee [16] [fr]
Omar El Hyani [17] [fr]
Passion Technologeek [18] [fr]
Ibn Kafka [19] [fr]