Moroccan blogger Mohammed Erraji was arrested last Friday, September 5th following the publication on the online news site Hespress.com of an article entitled “The King Encourages His Subject’s Dependency” (English translation) He was sentenced 72 hours later, in an expedited trial without assistance from a lawyer, to two years in jail and a fine of 5000MAD for “failure to uphold the respect due to the king”
Morocco’s often-criticized press law prohibits criticizing of the monarchy; In Raji’s article, which has been translated here by Amira al Hussaini, he claims that the King’s charity toward his people encourages them to remain helpless rather than work hard. His concluding paragraph reads
When the young Crown Prince, who will become the Ruler one day, witnesses how his father distributes honours, gratuities and gifts to people upon hearing compliments and praise, there is no doubt that he will act based on the same logic, when he rules. This is why we should delay our dreams of a Morocco of equality and equal opportunities until the reign of Mohammad the Seventh, which will follow after Hassan the Third, who is the Crown Prince at present.
Hespress has reported that Raji has already been given an expedited hearing and judgement and was sentenced to 2 years in jail as well as fined MAD 5,000 (USD $625)
- Express Support by Sending Photo Messages
You can display your solidarity by taking a picture of yourself with a message to Free Mohammed Erraji. Please also write where you are from in the message then send the photo to PhotoErraji@gmail.com, everyone who has a camera should participate!
- Join the Facebook Group:
Express your support by joining the “Free Moroccan Blogger Mohammed Erraji” group and help amplify the message by changing your profile picture to the following. Don’t forget to also invite your friends!
- Sign the Petition:
A petition calling for the immediate acquittal of Mohammed Erraji and the suspension of his sentence is available at www.helperraji.com
- Participate in the Blogoma (Moroccan Blogsphere) Blog Strike :
Monday September 15th, on the eve of the appeal trial, several Moroccan bloggers and others around the world will start a blog strike that will last 24 hours. Those who wish to join to this movement will announce that their blog is on strike, indicate the reason they chose to participate in the strike, mention the details of the case and link back to the site put up in support for Mohammad Erraji. To introduce others to the strike several bloggers are ciculating a short descriptive text, and the english translation has been made available by blogger Jillian York.