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Interactive dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) took part on June 16, in the interactive dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, as part of the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council (13 June-1 July 2016).

Despite the constitutional guarantees, mainly Article 28 of the constitution, the use of the penal code instead of the press code in courts, sentencing journalists to prison terms and fines are still forms of constraints to the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, the Council said in an oral statement at the gathering.

Some journalists were victims of violence while reporting on events throughout Morocco, the Council added. “This is mainly due to the current deficiencies in the legislation that should be addressed in the new draft press code” Said Mohamed Essabbar, CNDH Secretary General, at the event.  

The CNDH recommended a thorough review of the press legislation, taking into account the provisions of the constitution and international human rights law. Prison terms should have nothing to do with the press code, the CNDH said.

In addition, the CNDH recommended strengthening the tights of journalists and protecting their sources. It urged the Moroccan government to put the freedom of expression and freedom of the press in one legislation and to eliminate prison terms for speech offenses and adopt effective alternatives to incarceration instead.

The Council also recommended regulating the electronic press, in a way that can guarantee the best conditions for the reporters of electronic media, on the basis of criteria that can help guarantee the independence of this media and help them improve constantly.    


(Photo, UNHRC)