Morocco expels journalists

Morocco has expelled two Norwegian journalists who had been investigating the political situation in the country.

    Morocco discourages journalists from investigating Western Sahara

    Tor Dommersnes and Fredrik Refvem were escorted to Rabat airport on Wednesday barely three days after their arrival.

    Both employed by the daily Stavanger Aftenbladet newspaper, the two were in possession of Moroccan press passes but were told they had violated the law.

    The pair have not been given the exact reasons for their expulsion but it may be because of plans to meet with Western Saharan representatives.

    The dispute over the Western Sahara dates to 1975, when Spain abandoned the territory and Morocco annexed and moved settlers in.

    Reaction

    Their chief editor, Tom Hetland, has since spoken to the pair and has condemned the move.

    "It is very serious that the authorities try to block the work of the media."

    A spokesman for the Norwegian Foreign Office, Karsten Klepsvik, also told Aljazeera.net that his ministry was going to be in touch with Rabat.

    He said the Norwegian ambassador Arne Aasheim would protest the expulsion as unacceptable.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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