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Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi launches legal action against three Moroccan newspapers

April 23, 2009

President Gaddafi to work full time on persecuting Arab Journalists!
Three Libyan Lawsuits against Moroccan newspapers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 22 April, 2009 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has described today the complaints made by the Libyan Embassy in Rabat against three Moroccan newspapers - namely, "Al-Masaa", "Al-Garida Al-Oula" and "Moroccan Events" - as a threat to freedom of expression and the 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, accusing them of insulting and belittling the dignity of the Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi, on the grounds that they had published articles criticizing Gaddafi or referring to him in a way which the Libyan Embassy claims is unacceptable.

The first complaint is against journalist Younis Meskeen for an article he wrote in which he quoted he Moroccan communications minister likening the childish attitudes of Gaddafi to those of his Venezuelan counterpart.

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

The third complaint was against Al-Mukhtar Leghzaiwi, a journalist from the "Moroccan Events" newspaper.

It is to be noted that the Libyan President has recently pursued legal action against Arabic journalists through his embassies abroad. He has gone after the Algerian newspaper "Al-Shorouq", as well as the Egyptian papers "Sawt el-Omma" and "Al-Doustour" and the Saudi newspaper "Al-Watan".

"It seems that President Gaddafi, after overthrowing press freedom in Libya, has started to focus his attention and experience on prosecuting Arab journalists outside his country. We must stand by these journalists, in order to preserve what is left of press freedom in the Arab world," said ANHRI.

For more information contact:
Gamal Eid
Executive Director
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Phone: +20 227 736 177

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