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LIBYA: Three lawsuits against Moroccan newspapers

CAIRO, 22 April, 2009 (ANHRI) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the complaints made by the Libyan Embassy in Rabat against three Moroccan newspapers, calling the move a threat to freedom of expression and press in Morocco which must be confronted.

A few days ago the Libyan Embassy in Rabat submitted a complaint to the King's Deputy (Public Prosecutor) against the three newspapers, "Al-Masaa," "Al-Garida Al-Oula," and "Moroccan Events," accusing them of insulting and belittling the dignity of the Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, on the grounds of publishing some articles criticizing Gaddafi or referring to him in an "unacceptable" manner.

One complaint was against journalist Younis Meskeen and the content of his article, which discussed a commentary by the Moroccan Communications Minister who tied the childish attitudes of Gaddafi to that of Hugo Chavez.

Journalist Ali Anzola was questioned because of one of his articles in al-Garida Al-Oula in which he described the way the President came to power as "a coup".

Recently, Gaddafi has been prosecuting Arab journalists at Libyan embassies abroad, such as the "Al-Shorouq" Algerian newspaper, as well as "Sawt el-Omma" and "Al-Doustour" newspapers in Egypt, and "Al-Watan" Saudi newspaper.

"It seems that President Gaddafi, after he overthrew press freedom in Libya, has started to focus his attention and experience towards prosecuting Arab journalists outside his country, thus, we all have to stand by these journalists, in order to preserve what is left of press freedom in the Arab world. " ANHRI stated.

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