Washington- Reporters Without Borders' [RSF] annual ranking of press freedom in the world has reported stark determinations of global trends in press freedom. Morocco, in particular, has improved its position relative to the previous edition, with a tiny leap two spots from 138th place to 136 th place.
Washington- Reporters Without Borders’ [RSF] annual ranking of press freedom in the world has reported stark determinations of global trends in press freedom. Morocco, in particular, has improved its position relative to the previous edition, with a tiny leap two spots from 138th place to 136 th place.
Morocco’s lack of substantial progress may be attributed to its recent run-ins with human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and RSF for imprisoning Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla.
Some countries in the MENA regions reported significant progress. Indeed, Afghanistan did much better than Morocco, the country led by Hamed Karazai is 128th, winning 22 seats in a year. “The lack of imprisoned journalists explains the increase,” the RSF report reads.
The RSF report covers the tumultuous time of press freedom in Morocco when Benkirane’s team tried to give a false picture of “openness” to RSF press critics. In 2014, however, the detention of Anouzla put into question Morocco’s classification by RSF press freedom standards.
The RSF has reached out to Morocco to amend its situation in an appeal to the cabinet headed by the Secretary General of the PJD to accelerate reforms in the media field—these reforms, were, shortly thereafter announced by the government Benkirane I. RSF recalls that the promises for reform went unfulfilled, “the decriminalization of press offenses” were “slow to materialize,” notes the RSF report.
It also points to the “arbitrariness and lack of transparency that is often placed in decision making, including the granting and withdrawal of accreditation,” a clear reference to the case of Brouksy Omar, a journalist with the AFP who was harassed and beaten by Moroccan police during public protests in 2012.
Regardless of government support or restraint, the press play an essential role in politics and society. Particularly in the years following the ‘Arab Spring,’ the press plays an important role in keeping the ideas and aspirations of the movements alive. “Some governments [that were] generated by these new movements whose demands and aspirations for greater freedoms were widely reported by the media [have now] turned against them,” says RSF in its report .