Friday, January 12, 2007

Press Release: CPJ urges Morocco to acquit two journalists accused of denigrating Islam

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

MOROCCO: CPJ calls for acquittal of two journalists charged with denigrating Islam

New York, January 12, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement expressing deep concern prior to a Casablanca court verdict expected Monday, January 15, when Driss Ksikes, the publisher and director of the weekly magazine Nichane, and reporter Sanaa al-Aji, could receive a five year prison sentence for publishing an article analyzing popular Moroccan jokes about religion, sex, and politics.

“It is astonishing that our colleagues face such severe penalties for publishing popular Moroccan jokes,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “A conviction in this case would deal yet another severe blow to Morocco’s reputation on press freedom. We hope the court will send a signal of support for the principles of a free press by exonerating these journalists and lifting the ban on Nichane.”

Ksikes and al-Aji are on trial for denigrating Islam and damaging public morality under Article 41 and 59 of the Press and Publication Law 2002. For more details, click here:

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit