Verbatim | A Moroccan Blogger Goes To Jail

“It happened so quickly that all his rights were flouted.”KHADIJA RIYADI, of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, on the arrest and conviction of Mohammed Erraji, who was sentenced to two years in prison for writing in a blog that King Mohammed VI’s charitable habits were encouraging a culture of dependency. [source]

Not only do I feel that any state attempts to jail or silence bloggers sheer lunacy in this day an age, I feel the so-called “crimes” and “charges” some of these bloggers get hit with are pretty idiotic. Moreover, I think bloggers are the modern-day symbols for free speech; they are the official litmus test. Violating their online spaces is pretty much a bold statement by any government that they will continue to silence their citizens in all shapes and forms, and a reaffirmation to the entire world of that human rights violation.

Sheer lunacy.


  • Nas . this is really bad , thinking that one can go to jail for his thoughts , i believe as I heard once on TV , God made the voice and the soul intangible for they were too sacred to be touched, freedom is the key to achieve all our Goals , this is where people are trying to make the change , but we should all call for the freedom Of our brother Mohammad Erajji, let’s make our VOICES and comments count this time. Let’s see how effective we can be by blogging our thoughts to the authorities…

  • In honour of Mohammad Raji and Dureid Lahham’s play Ghorbeh (in our village we had a Baik).. please allow me to loosely translate excerpts from his “criminal” article and draw parallels to the tired daily act that adorns the front pages of our Jordanian daily newspapers…

    “…..We have to admit that what is destroying our country and what has left it at those embarrassing low levels in pretty much everything is the “charity economy”. Charity in this context meaning some people being awarded something they do not deserve. Like for example the transportation licenses or “generosities” distributed by the king on those who pass him notes filled with sympathy-generating phrases – the same phrases that beggars usually use while holding their hands out on pavements. Countries that respect their citizens do not turn them into beggars soliciting help from hierarchy but instead provide them with workshops and factories to work and make a living in honour and dignity. Even if we assume that those “generosities” are being handed out to those who deserve them (poor people, people with special needs (disabled),..etc) – which is of course highly unlikely – this is not something that should make the citizens proud at all – work, education and health benefits are constitutional rights which the state should provide to its citizens without humiliating them in this demeaning manner.

    In addition, those “generosities” should not be under the king’s control for him to hand out whichever way he wish without any accountability – awarding them to whoever throws a word of praise in his ear. Because this will create armies of suck-ups who instead of trying to earn a living through work and sweat are earning their living through words of praise and applaud – most of which lacks credibility anyway – and hence the king would be encouraging dependency among his people.
    And because this will also make us a population without any dignity – given the fact that we are living on tips (little gifts) and giveaways.
    …In reality we are not in need of someone who would sympathise with us but for someone who would equally distribute our countries wealth among us…”

    The full article in Arabic can be found here.

  • I read the article man that was one brave writer , hope everyone in the arab world could be this brave one day…
    Hats Off For Mohammad Rajji

  • Wow, here in the States, Mohammed Erraji wouldn’t have been arrested for arguing the weaknesses of a welfare stated … he simply would have been tarred and feathered with the label “Republican.”

    Kidding aside – I do have to wonder, how long will such countries be able to restrain such voices in a world smaller by the benefits of Internet & travel technologies – and broadened by an emerging global economy?

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