Al Jazeera faces Moroccan charge

Rabat accuses channel of reporting false information over protests in port town.

    Hassan Rachidi's trial will be held on July 1
    However, the authorities denied any loss of life, but said that 48 people had been injured, including 28 police officers.

    "The Rabat chief prosecutor's office ordered detectives to hold a preliminary investigation following the broadcast Saturday, by Al-Jazeera from its Rabat bureau, of information stating that there had been deaths during demonstrations in Sidi Ifni," the source said.

    "Upon completion of the investigation, carried out in accordance with the law, Hassan Rachidi and Ibrahim Sebaa El Layl have been charged with publishing false information and conspiracy, under the terms of article 42 of the press code."

    Their trial is to be held on July 1 in Rabat.

    Surprise over decision

    The Moroccan communication ministry also announced that it had withdrawn Rachidi's media accreditation in the country.

    "I am very surprised by this decision, but I believe [the authorities] want the head of the [Al-Jazeera] bureau chief," Rachidi said.

    "We received the information [of the deaths] from a well-respected human rights association which had given a press conference to announce the news."

    In May, the Moroccan government stopped Al Jazeera from broadcasting a daily news programme covering countries in and around North Africa from its studios in Rabat.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.