MOROCCAN authorities charged Al Jazeera’s Rabat bureau chief last Friday with publishing false information that protesters had been killed in clashes with police last weekend, the state news agency MAP reported.
The government has repeatedly denied that some protesters were killed when police moved in to break up a week-long demonstration over poverty and joblessness by youths in the port of Sidi Ifni in southwest Morocco. Al Jazeera’s bureau chief, Hassan Rachidi, says the Qatari-based television station merely reported comments at a news conference held by the Moroccan Human Rights Centre that there had been deaths in the clashes.
Moroccan prosecutors charged Rachidi and Human Rights Centre official Ibrahim Sebaa El Layl with publishing false information and conspiracy under article 42 of the kingdom’s press code, said MAP.
The case would be examined by a Rabat court on July 1, it said.
MAP quoted an unnamed Communications Ministry source as saying Rachidi’s press accreditation had been withdrawn.
The government recently ordered Al Jazeera to stop broadcasting a daily news programme covering Maghreb countries from its Rabat offices. – Reuters.