Environmental citizen-journalist gets 10 months in prison

first_img RSF_en Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders condemns the 10-month jail sentence that was passed last week on citizen-journalist Mohamed Attaoui on a spurious charge of “working as a local official despite being suspended” and calls for his conditional release pending the outcome of his appeal.“The authorities have been harassing Attaoui for years, above all because of his commitment to defending the environment,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Now he has again been arrested and convicted on a trumped-up charge to prevent him from drawing attention to the mafia-like practices of local officials.” Attaoui was arrested on 21 January in his home town, the rural municipality of Tounfite (in the north-central region of Meknès), while photographing homes that are unfit for habitation for a report he intended to post online videos he posted before his arrest.The president and general secretary of the “Tounfite Group” (a grass-roots association to which Attaoui belongs) were also arrested and have been sentenced to a year and eight months in prison respectively.Following his arrest, Attaoui was placed in solitary confinement on the prison director’s orders and was not allowed to receive a visit from his wife until 18 February, four days he was given the 10-month jail sentence.Attaoui was previous convicted in March 2010, when he was the Arabic-language daily Al-Monataf’s regional correspondent, and when he headed the Future for Cedar and Mountain Sheep Association and worked for the Tounfite municipal administration.A court in Midelt (in the Eastern Atlas, southeast of Rabat) sentenced him to two years in prison on a trumped-up charge of extorting 1,000 dirhams (90 euros). He was detained for 45 days before being released on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.Reporters Without Borders drew attention to the case at the time, accusing the authorities of trying to prevent him from exposing the “cedar mafia” responsible for the illegal felling of cedar in the Eastern Atlas. The case was also mentioned in a June 2010 report on environmental journalism called “Deforestation and pollution:high-risk subjects”.The court that was supposed to hear Attaoui’s appeal against his 2010 conviction kept on postponing hearings and, in the end, never issued a decision. Attaoui meanwhile filed a complaint with the Midelt prosecutor’s office on 22 March 2010 accusing four Midelt police detectives of forgery and abduction. Although there were witnesses and hard evidence to support his allegations, the case was closed on 24 June 2010.In a letter to justice minister Mustafa Ramid on 10 October 2012, Reporters Without Borders drew attention to the unsuccessful attempts to reactivate this complaint and requested an independent and impartial investigation into all the “acts of intimidation and the strategy of reducing this journalist to silence with complete impunity” in violation of Morocco’s international obligations.Attaoui was suspended from his municipal administration job in Tounfite as a reprisal in August 2012. June 8, 2021 Find out more Organisation Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Related documents cp_maroc_attaoui-2.pdfPDF – 152.92 KB April 15, 2021 Find out more to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara February 21, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Environmental citizen-journalist gets 10 months in prison News News News News Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out more Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

‘No evidence’ American figure skater intentionally hurt South Korean opponent: ISU

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailproBAKSTER/iStock(NEW YORK) — An American figure skater has been accused of deliberately injuring a South Korean skater during practice ahead of the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, but the skating union has said there was “no evidence” it was intentional.The accusations were made about an incident between American skater Mariah Bell and South Korean skater Eun Soo Lim during practice on March 20.According to Yonhap, South Korean sports agency All That Sports alleged that Bell “struck Lim’s leg with her skate” before the ladies’ short program, cutting Lim’s calf. Yonhap reported that Lim had the cut taped before she performed.An All That Sports official said they believed Bell hitting Lim was “premeditated” because Lim was skating near the walls and Bell “came from behind” when she cut her, Yonhap reported.The official also claimed Bell “had been bullying Lim for months and launched a verbal attack” on her, according to Yonhap. The skaters have the same coach, Rafael Arutunian, per their bios.ISU, which said the incident was “verbally reported” by the Korean team leader, disputed that the attack was intentional.“Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim,” ISU said in a statement.Lim finished in fifth place and Bell finished in sixth in the ladies’ short program.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund Written bycenter_img March 21, 2019 /Sports News – National ‘No evidence’ American figure skater intentionally hurt South Korean opponent: ISUlast_img read more