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Home »» Dialogues

The Fight for Freedom by AL Massaa Newspaper.

By Rachida

For all the Moroccans that are following what's going on in our homeland these days, you probably know the big fight that is going on between the famous Almasaa newspaper and the justice system. If you're not aware then let me sum it up what for you as this is a big issue and needs the attentions of all noble Moroccans residing in the USA and Canada who are trying t see our home country get better free speech, press and we wish every day that we can see the same press freedom that we have here to be implied in Morocco.

Basically the director of Almasaa and the newspapers were sentenced by a judge named Alalaoui to pay 612 million dirhams as a penalty and compensation for mentioning, by mistake, one of the agents of the King to be present in gay marriage that took place in Laksar Lakbir. Please be advised that the defendant did not mention him by name. Even though Almassaa did apologize for its mistake, the newspaper was charged 612 million dirhams and this is the highest payment ever a newspaper in Morocco was charged.

Whoever read Almasaa on a daily basis, online as I do, would definitely agree that this papers is totally different from the others and it has independent writers. They write about issues that reflect Moroccan society with sincerity and honesty making all the readers aware about what is going on their country from corruption regardless to the personality whether it is a minister or a mayor.

This audacity in speech did not please many people, and the director himself, Rachid Ninni, was attacked a couple of months ago in Rabat train station. He was assaulted by unknown people. The result was many bruises on his body and a broken hand as well as a loss of his own laptop plus his two cellular phones. Freedom of speech does not please a lot of rich people in Morocco as it opens up the eyes of " lamzalit" on their corruption and personal use of Moroccans taxes.

Almassa now is about to go bankrupt and this was the main goal of this harsh judgment, what that means to you and me is going back to reading government newspapers that tells us every day �alam zin".

From this noble site I call every Moroccan citizen who is eager to see their country improve on freedom speech, freedom of press and overcome the dark days, please let your voices be heard, let us all unify to save Almasaa from vanishing in the darkness of slavery. I believe the time has come to dream big and to see the light shine in our country. If the USA voted for an African-American as a president, we all know that it did not come by chance rather by 40 years of fight for freedom and equality. So lets all fight together for our country. For the love of our land it is time for change. Change for freedom and democracy. I am sure that a lot of people would say ohhh it's just a dream, you are just dreaming� Moroccans will never change� well guess what,  if Martin Luther King did not have a dream, African Americans would never have reached what they reached today. So let's all keep it positive, everyone can do a lot just by spreading the news, word of mouth can do a lot. Let�s all support freedom of speech in Morocco.

If you want to express you voice and let it be heard you can visit Almasaa newspapers website

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niko71 : we love the news paper and good luck rachid
saramay123 : I can't say it's an objective newspaper, and yes it does expose injustice and corruption. So do other newspapers and tv programs in Morocco. Many times Almassae feeds on any little scandal just like those tabloids magazines in the US. The goal of a constructive journalism is to deliver with a purpose, to enlighten, to educate.

If anyone can recall the Mekness bus incident, where journalists posted an article about the incident before it happened, but refused to share that information with the authorities. They withheld all of the details which did put civilians in harm's way. When they were arrested, again came up the question of freedom vs repression. In the states it's called conspiracy especially when it comes to the T word.

In the US many topics aren't taboo, the dirtiest you're the more famous you become. Here you can call a lady the 'B' word, in Morocco and many other countries, if you don't get beat up first, you'll be taken to court and serve jail time, this is a fact!
Freedom of expressions has limits, just like here, maybe a little tougher where we come from. Let us not forget that tabloids/Paparazzi here were also held accountable for false comments about actors, singers... and had to pay millions in fine, had nothing to do with politics. Holding someone responsible for false information or defamation of character should not be mistaken with freedom of speech.
Yes the fine is pretty unreasonable, but the topic itself drew a lot of negative international attention of how the gay marriage thing was handled by the Moroccan authorities. There was a lot of accusations of gay rights violation after they got arrested. Also the reaction of the public protesting the marriage. Can I say the same for proposition 8 in California, a bill was passed then overturned. Is it a violation of freedom of speech?, a political conspiracy? Can they solve the situation?.
I don't regard the US as a role model when comes to freedom of anything. That's why they invented laws like anti-Semitism for example. You can't express yourself freely wearing a muzzle, can you?
Almassae wouldn't exist in the first place, if there wasn't a little freedom in Morocco. Things had changed from the old regime, for those whom remember Al Bassri (wazir adakhilia wa e3lam), the police department did also the editing.
I hope we see more caring and constructive journalism in Morocco rather than those gossipy columns. More information and education of the public rather than plain subjectivity and negativity. More solutions for the problems talked about rather than criticism and mocking.
Words are powerful things.

There was an article on this subject:

sidibe : Just because Robin Hood was popular amongst poor people, it does not take away the fact that he was a thief in the eyes of the law. The way I see it is that Almassaa sought to make money by slandering an innocent citizen. Therefore, it ought to pay retributions for its reckless, erratic, and dishonest behavior. Almassas apology is, in my opinion, an admittance of guilt, and if it were me who was slandered, I would have sought more money for being called the Z word. As advocates of freedom of speech in Morocco, we should never deny people justice based on their social class; rich or poor..
not24get : If the authorities in Morocco could do it,they would shut down all the newspapers,ban all the magazines, and leave just the news on the RTM and its tireless immortal Moustapha Alaoui. Moroccans used to leave Morocco in search for work and a bright future,now they leave because of the daily injustices they live and see. The rust is taking its toll on most of the institutions in Morocco,and almost ten years after the death of Hassan 2,poeple are still suffering,and things have gotten worse. A piece of advice to Rachid Nini,grab a backpack or a suitcase and get a one way ticket to Azerbaidjan,thing might be a little bit better there. Good luck,tahiyyati.
ouledtetouan : 
The writings of Mr Nini have caused many Morroccans to loose their families ,go to prison ,loose their jobs and sometimes their hard earned the case of Ksar el kebir ,he sent a guy 9 months to prison by showing him dancing and accusing him of getting married to another man that night.You guys do not have that kind of free press in the Us or Canada.Nobody has the right in the name of free press to destroy people's lives. The fine is meant to put him out of business.
I think he deserves it . Those "agents of the king " as you call them are Moroccans ; they had the opportunity to defend themselves ;they won .Mr Nene should cough up and next time shut up unless he has the correct informations .A magazine this week "le journal " is accusing the King of beating the crap out of people ,sending them to hospitals and sometimes to the nut house .
Now unless they can prove this ,they should be put out of business too.Many newspeople in Morocco frustrated with their life are bashing people just because they can .This has to stop .

Unfortunately people like Nene will continue to poison our lives for many years to come.
The pervert has almost raised the entire fine.

elmajed : As long as there are no laws on the book to protect the newspapers and reporters from retaliation by the authorities, there will be no independent press in Morocco, periode!!! Newspapers in "Lablad" are controled and financed by the well established political parties in Morocco. Those well known magazines and daily newspapers are still in Business because their loyal readers are still buying their publications (And reading them while siting and sipping the balck cofee all day)and support "what they stand for" and that is: "Promoting those political paries point of vue" which is always surviving the system by applying the rule of "Live and let Live" and everyone is "Happy" A LA MAROCAINE.
Got it!!!!

lola33 : "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr (RIP)

Good luck Rachid.

Total Comments:7   Showing: 1-7
Dialogues allows Moroccans and friends of Morocco to express their views on any current issue or situation that could spark a discussion among Wafiners. People from all walks of life are encouraged to submit their views. All submissions must be concise, addressed to a broad audience, and written in good, idiomatic English. Submit all articles to [email protected].

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