Sunday, 5 July 2015

"Prepare your cells, we are ready"


"As there isn't a real opposition, the regime thinks that we are the opposition. That isn't our role. This means there is something wrong with the system"

The words above were spoken two months ago by Ali Lmrabet, a journalist and former editor of the satirical magazine Demain. Demain was met a long row of obstructions from the regime, ending Lmrabet in prison at one time before finally prohibiting him from publishing for 10 years. 2015 was to mark a new beginning and he was contemplating opening a new satirical magazine of which Khalid Gueddar would a key participant, only once again "the system" to stay in the lingua answered back. This time denying Lmrabet a renewal of his national ID.

The ID has been denied on a technicality, promising for another long row of legal battles, securing him from publishing all the while.

Now the turn has come to Khalid Gueddar, who has been sentenced to three months in jail for a fictional act of misconduct. The sort of random accusations to pull out of the drawer when such a thing is needed, veiling that is an act against his profession and his freedom to carrying it out.

But of course it is. This is another attempt to silence him. Beneath is his communiqué of today, telling his story in his own words and a cartoon on that very situation. Note the half concealed star of the flag, which created such problems to him not that long ago:


Khalid Gueddar, re-published on Facebook July 5, 2015 ,
with the following words by Khalid Gueddar:
"Drawing the King is a sacred thing
Prepare your cells, we are ready".



By Khalid Gueddar

First of all, I wish to thank each and everyone, who have expressed their solidarity and support to me.

It was by chance that I learned the news of my sentence of three months imprisonment by the trial court in Kenitra. Neither my lawyers nor I have been notified of the conviction. Worse, no summons was sent to me not by this court.

Indeed, I attended two sessions of the trial, which began in 2012. I subsequently decided not to appear before the court of the judge. The case was postponed.

Three years have passed and now they dust off the record. I am under no illusions about the matter: this sentence is my freedom of expression. It happens at that very moment when my colleagues Ali Lmrabet, Ahmed Senoussi and I are preparing to launch a new satirical magazine. Long awaited by our team, this magazine would mark a new beginning for my colleague and friend Ali Lmrabet in the clipboard, after being sentenced to a prohibition on practicing journalism for 10 years (2005-2015).

Also, this magazine will offer a space of freedom to my friend and colleague, the comedian Ahmed Senoussi (Bziz), banned from all scenes and tribunes of the country.

Immediately after the announcement of the launch of this magazine, the Moroccan authorities decided to deprive Ali Lmrabet of his papers that will allow him to renew his identity card, and thus remove the legal record of the new media. Today, he continues his hunger strike he started it a few days ago in Geneva.

It is no secret: the Moroccan regime is afraid of humor and professional journalism, and its animosity against journalists is increasing day by day.

Seeing that there is no justice in Morocco, especially not in the courts, I declare today that I shall not present myself at meetings of the appeal trial, which will start on Wednesday, July 15.

They judge me as they wish. They will never take my freedom.

Gueddar
Cartoonist
Sunday, July 5, 2015.



The cartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Gueddar and must not be reproduced without his permission.


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