Morocco: Human Right Activist Released from Prison after Arbitrary Arrest

Maâti Monjib is a political analyst, human rights activist and historian at the University of Mohammed V-Rabat in Morroco. In January 2021, he was sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of 10 000 dirhams by the Moroccan Government. Last week, he was released on parole after international organisations called for his release and a hunger strike.

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Maâti Monjib

Maâti Monjib started his activism during the dictatorial reign of Hassan II of Morocco. He left the country to live in Senegal and France in the 1980s but returned in 1999, after the death of the King. Monjib is the co-founder of the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism and created the Ibn Rochd Center for Studies and Communication, a training school for journalists and human rights activists. He started these associations in 2011 during the Arab Spring.

He established himself as a prominent investigative journalist and a resistance to the Moroccan government. The latter targeted him because of his critical journalism and human rights activism.  Since 2014, he faced many prosecutions in terms of travel bans and threats of dismissal from his university. Even though the government continuously intimidated him for years through defamation and judicial summons tactics, he continued to advocate peacefully for justice and press freedom in Morroco.

On the 27th of January 2021, he was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “fraud” and “state endangerment”. On March 4th, he started a hunger strike to protest his arbitrary arrest. Supporters and international organisations such as the IMF contested this arrest and called for his freedom. He was finally released last week, on the 23rd of March, after a 20-day hunger strike.

To note that Morocco is ranked 133rd in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Sans Frontières.

 

Sources:
Committee to Protect Journalists, 2021. Moroccan journalist Maati Monjib sentenced to 1 year in prison.
Open Democracy, 2021. The troubling case of Maâti Monjib highlights Morocco’s climate of repression.
Reporters Sans Frontières, 2021. Moroccan journalist freed after 20 days on hunger strike.

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