Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla to appear in court on charges ‘unfounded under international law’

Moroccan journalist and editor Ali Anouzla has been ordered to appear before a chamber of the Rabat Criminal Court specialising in “terrorism cases” on 21 January 2016. The charges against him are unfounded under international law and amount to a violation of the right to freedom of expression, said over 60 rights groups worldwide in 2013.

Anouzla was arrested on 17 September 2013 for publishing an article on the website Lakome that contained a link to an El País article about a video posted by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). On 24 September 2013, he was indicted by the investigating judge at the Rabat Court of Appeals for providing “material assistance” to a terrorist group, “defending terrorism” and “inciting the execution of terrorist acts” (on the basis of the anti-terrorist law 03-03 of 28 May 2003). He was provisionally released on 25 October 2013.

Lakome2, a new online platform was set up in August 2015 and Anouzla was subsequently summoned to appear before an investigative judge on 26 November 2015 to answer questions related to the case from 2013. On 5 January 2016, his lawyers informed him that he had been ordered to appear on 21 January before the Criminal Court in Rabat.

Ali Anouzla has, since December 2010, been the editor-in-chief of the online media platform Lakome, which he co-founded along with Aboubakr Jamai. He is the editor of the Arabic version of the site. Both the Arabic and the French versions of Lakome remain blocked by the Moroccan authorities since 2013.