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Peer Reviewed

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Abstract

The wave of Arab Spring that started in Tunisia and Egypt arrived to Morocco in 2011 paving the way to unprecedented organized mass-protests all over the country. Among the demands raised by the 20 February Movement protesters was the demand for free and independent media outlets, especially the press. King Mohammed VI, the Commander of the Faithful and the highest authority in Morocco, promised in a televised speech on March 9th to introduce "radical" and "genuine" constitutional reforms that would democratize the country. In fact, King Mohammed VI has so far succeeded in calming down and co-opting the demonstrations, but journalists and political activists still get fined if they trespass the Hudud[1]. In my short article, I will briefly contextualize the Moroccan independent press and discuss its status after the "Moroccan Spring" with an attempt to show, through cases of imprisoned journalists, the contradictions associated with the liberalization of speech in Morocco. One of the main arguments of my article is that the democratization of the press could never be achieved as long as the public discourse that brings monarchical powers and actions into question is illegal.

Keywords

Morocco, Independent Press, Moroccan Spring, 20 February Movement, Democratization, Red Lines, Liberalization of Speech

Total Pages

14

Rights

Copyright © 2015 Hamza Tayebi

Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.