Saturday, August 1, 2009
Prior Restraint in Morocco.
The Ministry of the Interior in Morocco has blocked the publication of the two upcoming issues of the French weekly magazine Tel Quel and the Arabic weekly Nichane, both directed by the controversial Ahmed Benchemsi. The magazines have marked the tenth anniversary of King Mohammed VI's enthronement by dedicating a series of issues to the record of the king in office. The Ministry has singled out the upcoming issues number 384 and 385 of Tel Quel and issues number 212 and 213 of Nishan, for "assault on the person of the king and Morocco's socio-political foundations." According to a communique released by the Tel Quel Group, the issues in question would have pulished an opinion poll done in partnership with the French daily Le Monde on the approval rating of King Mohammed VI's ten-year on the throne. The group claims that the results of the poll were positive for the monarchy, as %91 of those surveyed approved of the king's management of the country. Tel Quel has always dared to go where other press outlets could not, and its director Ahmed Benchemsi is known for his weekly poignant editorials. No subject, political, social or cultural is taboo for the weekly french magazine. It remains to be seen whether the state will throw the book at the magazine and Benchemsi, or whether this is a mere slap on the wrist and a warning of things to come in the future of Tel Quel and Nichane.