Three Online Activists Arrested in Morocco

By: Qichen Zhang on 14 September 2011

Morocco’s populist movement has seen a jolting response from the government in the last few days. Global Voices recently reported that three online activists have been arrested in the country. Mohamed Douas, Moad Belghouat, and Younes Belmalha have all been seized by the Moroccan government. Already, online supporters have rallied together and have taken to the blogosphere to free the three activist netizens.

Douas, founder of the Facebook group Wikileaks Fnideq that served as a whistle blower on local government corruption, was accused of drug trafficking. Belghouat, member of the youth anti-regime movement February 20, was arrested for assaulting a demonstrator belonging to the opposing party. The accusations behind Belmalha’s arrest remain unclear at this time. But since the poet’s seizure, who goes by the Youtube pseudonym Inkichariya, bloggers have reported that his videos have disappeared from his channel.

This is not the first time that Moroccan activists and bloggers have been arrested in the country for expressing anti-government sentiments online. Back in 2008, both ONI and Amnesty International reported on the arrest of Mohamed Erraji, who was sentenced to two years in prison for showing "lack of respect due to the King" when he wrote his criticisms on his personal blog. And in 2009, Morocco was listed by the Committee to Protect Journalists as one of the worst places to be a blogger.

For more information, visit Global Voice’s coverage on the 2011 protests in Morocco.