January 23, 2002 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Libération censored

In a letter addressed to Communication minister Mohammed Achaari, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) protested against the ban on the distribution of the French daily Libération from Moroccan newstands. "Once again, that decision proves that the authorities are ready to censor foreign newspapers as soon as they tackle topics likely to embarrass the royal family", declared Robert Ménard, general secretary of the organisation. "During the year 2001, no less than nine newspapers, among which seven foreign ones, have been censored for having tackled topics such as Western Sahara, corruption and most of all the person of the king", he added. According to the information gathered by RSF, the French daily Libération, dated January 22, was not distributed at Moroccan newstands on January 23, date when it is usually put on sale. It was held back by the distribution company Sochepresse. That issue contained an article entitled "Moulay Rachid. The very expensive holidays of King of Morocco's brother" in which the writer mentioned the hotel expenses of Moulay Rachid in Acapulco: 10 200 dollars (11 547 euros) per day. The article also stipulated that the king's brother "occupied the imperial suite of the luxurious Quinta Real hotel as well as twenty four other rooms" and he was "accompanied by sixteen persons among whom three ravishing models".