Moroccan Government charges journalist with criminal defamation
Moroccan government charged Youssef Jajili, editor in chief of the investigative weekly Alaan Magazine, with criminal defamation. The charges stem from a June 2012 article published by Jajili in which he reports that Abdelkader Amara, minister of Manufacture and Trade in the current government, ordered champagne to his hotel room while on a taxpayer-funded trip outside of the country. The charges were embarrassing to Amara as Islamic law forbids Muslims from drinking alcohol. Amara accused Jajili of contriving the story, even after Jajili published the hotel bill showing the charges for the alcoholic beverages under the official’s name. Under Article 52 of the Moroccan Press Law, journalists can face up to one year in jail and fines of up to 100,000 dirhams (US$11,955) if convicted on defamation charges.
Source: Freedom House