Monday, August 3, 2009
The Moroccan Monarchy Refuses to be the Subject of Opinion Polls
Here is a short Associated Press article that says a lot about the state of things in Morocco.
Moroccan magazines banned for poll on king
August 2, 2009 By The Associated Press HASSAN ALAOUI (Associated Press Writer)
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Moroccan authorities banned two magazines from newsstands this weekend after they published a poll about the 10-year reign of King Mohammed VI.
The official MAP news agency said the independent weeklies, Tel Quel, a French-language publication, and Nichane, an Arabic-language magazine, were seized for failing to respect the 1958 press code.
Communications Minister Khalid Naciri told The Associated Press on Sunday that the poll, carried out in conjunction with the French daily Le Monde, was at issue.
"Any publication, be it foreign or Moroccan, that publishes the poll will be banned," the minister said. "Monarchy cannot be the subject of opinion polls and those who practice this sport are aware of the consequences."
Only the current issues of the two magazines were banned, MAP reported.
The magazines were banned even thought the poll results were reportedly favorable.
But the king, like the state religion Islam and Morocco's claim to the disputed Western Sahara territory, are all sensitive topics in this North African kingdom and are not subject to debate.
The 45-year-old Mohammed VI celebrated 10 years on the throne last week. He acceded to the throne after the death of his father King Hassan II, who had ruled for 38 years.
The two magazines have a history of problems with Moroccan authorities. Both were seized in 2007 when they published editorials deemed libelous against the king.
In addition, Nichane's former editor, Driss Ksikes, and journalist Sanae Al Aji received three-year suspended jail sentences in January 2007 for publishing an article deemed defamatory to Islam. The magazine was then banned for two months.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.