Journalist Permit Withdrawn

An Al-Jazeera journalist’s permit has been withdrawn by the Moroccan government on charges of ‘bias’ in reporting news about Western Sahara. Despite impressive advances in freedom of speech in the last five years, the Sahara issue remains very touchy in the Kingdom. In fact, just recently, journalist Ali Lmrabet incurred the wrath of the authorities for a Sahara-related article. Lmrabet received the 2005 Hellman/Hammet Award, which is given out to “writers all around the world who have been victims of political persecution and are in financial need.” Not the kind of award I want to see Moroccans listed for, ever.