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Morocco: Court Approves Seizure of Newspapers Evaluating King’s Performance

(Aug. 20, 2009) On August 4, 2009, the Ministry of Internal Security of Morocco confiscated two weekly newspapers, TELQUEL and NICHANE, for publishing opinion polls about the King of Morocco that included questions about his performance over the past ten years. Moroccan authorities confiscated the newspapers without further explanation and destroyed 100,000 copies of both weeklies without a prior court decision. After the fact, a court approved the Ministry's actions.

The Ministry of Information of Morocco justified the seizure by stating that the King's actions are above any evaluation or debate. The French-language TELQUEL described this procedure as “illegal,” but the court upheld the tradition that the monarchy is not a matter for debate in the press. (Morocco Seizes a French Newspaper, AL JAZEERA NEWS AGENCY, Aug. 4, 2009, available at