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Press Freedom in Morocco: UPR Advocacy Fact Sheet

Ahead of Morocco’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have issued a UPR Advocacy Fact Sheet that complements the alternative stakeholder report that the two organizations published in May 2022 per the UPR process.

The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations created to examine the human rights performances of all UN member states; Morocco’s UPR is set to take place in November 2022.

Much like the alternative report, the advocacy fact sheet traces the significant deterioration of press freedom in Morocco, especially following the Hirak Rif protests that took place in the northern region of Rif between October 2016 and June 2017. The fact sheet documents:

  • The subjecting of journalists critical of the Moroccan government to judicial harassment and the weaponization of sex-related charges against them;
  • Restrictions on the reporting of certain media content and the imposition of burdensome bureaucratic and administrative requirements on local outlets to shutter them and/or severely restrict their activities;
  • The leveraging of surveillance technology, including the infamous Pegasus software, to target journalists.

In an effort to comprehensively address the deterioration of press freedom in Morocco, this fact sheet proposes recommendations relevant to both the country’s legal framework and its violative practices.