Suspended jail for Moroccan writers

The court bans the weekly magazine Nichane from publishing for two months.

     Ksikes, left, and al-Aji, right, with the publisher of TelQuel Ahmed  Benchemssi [AFP]

    Prosecutors put Driss Ksikes, the editor-in-chief, and Sanae al-Aji, the writer, on trial for "damaging the Islamic religion, lacking proper respect for the king and publishing of writings contrary to public morals"  in the weekly magazine.


    Al-Aji, the first female reporter to stand trial in Morocco, said the

    jokes were in common usage among Moroccan people and were not part of her own beliefs.


    Nichane, which means forthright, was launched last September as a weekly magazine published in Morocco's local darija dialect.


    The controversial piece was published as a cover story in the magazine's special edition in early December.


    The magazine's lawyer, Chawki Benyoub, said he would appeal against the ruling.


    International media rights groups had widely condemned the trial of the two journalists as a violation of press freedom.


    The weekly is owned by a news group that also publishes the irreverent French-language magazine TelQuel.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera and agencies


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