Ali Lmrabet

Ali Lmrabet

By peh4, 28 April 2014

Ali Lmrabet has been gagged in his country since 2005, when he was sentenced to a 10-year-ban on working as journalist for writing in a report for the Spanish daily El Mundo that the Sahrawis living in camps on the outskirts of the Algerian town of Tindouf were “refugees” and not “hostages” held against their will, as the Moroccan government tends to claim. The Moroccan penal code makes no provision for such a ban. He was previously sentenced in 2003 to three years in prison on a charge of “undermining respect for the king” for publishing cartoons of the monarchy and an interview with a left-wing former prisoner (calling himself as a “republican”) in his weekly Demain. After being held for eight months and staging a hunger strike for 50 days, he was released on a pardon from King Mohammed in January 2004. Nowadays, he lives in the northern city of Tétouan and, since 2011, has edited the Demain Online website, defying the ban on journalistic work. “Without censorship or self-censorship, except as regards people’s honour and dignity,” he says.