Moroccan journalists go on trial over anti-Islamic jokes

A court case against two journalists accused of defaming Islam and damaging public morality has started in Morocco.

Moroccan journalists go on trial over anti-Islamic jokes
The editor of the Arabic-language weekly magazine, Nichane, and one of its reporters are being tried over a feature published on December 9 titled, "Jokes: How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics."

The Moroccan government closed down the magazine and withdrew its copies from newspaper stands days after the publication of the article, which triggered condemnation for looking at popular jokes on religion, sex and politics.

The king's prosecutor at the Casablanca High Court ordered police to investigate the incident.

Driss Ksikes and Sanaa al-Aji face up to five years in jail and hefty fines if they are convicted.

The two journalists, who issued a public apology, claim that they weren't making fun of religion, but merely trying to discover the impact of jokes on the Moroccan society.

They are backed by international organizations such as Reporters Without Frontiers, which says that the trial is a serious blow for press freedom.

But the government doesn't see it this way, insisting that attacking religion is one of the most serious offensive acts a journalist can commit.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16