Gibraltar Chronicile, 11 march 2010
Moroccan journalists forced into exile for criticising the monarchy have called on the European Union to monitor breaches of human rights and demand that these be upheld by the Rabat Government. Speaking at the Granada press club, banished journalist Ali Lmrabet said there was censorship in the country related to the situation in the Western Sahara, and a ban on any comment on the Moroccan royal family. According to Lmrabet, the budget of the Moroccan royal family is 28 times greater than that of their Spanish Royal counterparts. “There are serious limitations in the country to freedom of the press,” he declared. The journalists have also urged the EU to put pressure on Morocco “to meet its international commitments in terms of justice and human rights.” It emerged that since 1999 Moroccan journalists have accumulated prison sentences totalling 28 years and newspapers and other media have faced fines of up to two million euros in the exercise of freedom of expression deemed as offensive by the authorities.