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Morocco: Moroccan Journalist Maati Monjib Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison

The Court of First Instance in Rabat, Morocco, yesterday convicted Maati Monjib, co-founder of the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism, of fraud and endangering state security, and sentenced him to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 dirhams (US$1,116), according to news reports.

28 January 2021 p New York — The Court of First Instance in Rabat, Morocco, yesterday convicted Maati Monjib, co-founder of the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism, of fraud and endangering state security, and sentenced him to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 dirhams (US$1,116), according to news reports." Monjib's trial, first only for endangering state security, began in October 2015, and continued for years, as CPJ documented.Yesterday, the court also convicted exiled journalists Hichem Mansouri and Samad Ait Aïcha of endangering state security and sentenced them each, in absentia, to one year in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams (US$558), according to a statement by Ait Aïcha on Twitter."The Moroccan government has been surveilling and harassing journalist Maati Monjib for years, and with this move to imprison him, authorities are telling us they can't even bother with a pretense of press freedom," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.

"Authorities must immediately release Monjib, drop all charges against him, and end their harassment of journalists.He told CPJ in 2019 that he faced government surveillance; in October 2020, the National Brigade of Judicial Police also accused Monjib and four of his family members of money laundering, and interrogated them; and on December 28, 2020, authorities arrested Monjib while he was dining with a friend in Rabat.

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