Free Rachid Nini
  • Petitioned Judith A Chammas

This petition was delivered to:

Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Morocco
Judith A Chammas
PAO, US Consulate in Casablanca
Elizabeth Gracon
Morocco Program Officer, State Department
Aaron Alton
Morocco Country Officer, State Department
Kali Jones
PAO, US Embassy in Morocco
Mary Jeffers
U.S. Ambassador to Morocco
Samuel Louis Kaplan
Consul General, US Consulate in Casablanca
Elisabeth Millard
Consular Officer, US Consulate in Casablanca
Miguel Ordonez
Information Officer, US Embassy in Morocco
Christopher Gilbertson
Director, State Department Office of Analysis for Near East and South Asia
Nabeel Khoury
Community Liaison Officer, US Consulate in Casablanca
Roger Vanderploeg
Political Officer, US Consulate in Casablanca
Matthew Lehrfeld
DAS, Near Eastern Affairs
Tamara Wittes
President of the United States

Free Rachid Nini

    1. Mohamed Dourrachad
    2. Petition by

      Mohamed Dourrachad

      Fes, Morocco

Rachid Nini, Publisher and Editor of Almassae, the leading newspaper in Morocco, is in a Casablanca jail. He is awaiting trial for allegedly "attempting to influence the judiciary and reporting false allegations of criminal conduct."

Mr. Nini was first summoned for questioning by the Moroccan secret service, some four weeks ago, after he penned a long series of articles exposing corruption at various levels of the Moroccan Government. 

Instead of investigating the corruption charges brought forth in Mr. Nini's articles against some of the most powerful people in the public sector, the Moroccan authorities are trying through threats and intimidation to silence this journalist whose only "crime" is his diligent efforts to expose corruption and the ongoing fleecing of the country's riches by a number of unscrupulous officials.

On top of it all, the prosecutor has refused to heed numerous calls, both national and international, to release Mr. Nini on bail while awaiting trial. The prosecutor is also adamant that this respected journalist be tried under Criminal Law, instead of the existing Printing and Publishing Law, knowing that he was jailed for articles and opinions he wrote in a lawful newspaper, as a recognized journalist.

This is an attempt to silence the press at a very crucial time for all freedom-loving people in Morocco and a blatant affront to all those who are fighting for greater transparency and better governance in Morocco.

This is a worthy cause which needs your prompt attention. Please raise Mr. Nini's case with the White House and the US Department of State, requesting their urgent intervention with the Moroccan authorities to free Mr. Nini and respect the rights to which he is entitled as a human being and as a journalist.

Last Thursday, the defense team stormed out of the courtroom chanting slogans decrying what they termed as a kangaroo court. Against all odds, this sham trial continues and Rachid Nini was not released after 35 days behind bars. The court decision is expected to be announced next Thursday.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Nini: I Hope I'll be The Last Journalist Tried Under Criminal Law

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      In a statement he made today before a crowd of well-wishers, Rachid Nini expressed hope that he will be the last journalist to be tried under criminal law, as opposed to the existing law governing the press in Morocco.
      This petition will now end. Although Rachid Nini was not released before the end of his jail term, the message of this petition, thanks to its nearly 3330 signatories, was clearly driven home: Freedom of the press is an essential pillar in any democratic reforms. Democracy will remain an empty word as long as the word itself, spoken or written, is stifled and suppressed.
      Thank you all for adding your signature to this petition and the worthy cause for which it was intended.

    2. Nini Was Released Today Before Dawn

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Rachid Nini was released in the wee hours today from his prison cell in Casablanca, Morocco. He was set free after having spent one year in jail-- a sentence widely viewed in Morocco and elsewhere as unfair and baseless.
      A crowd of well-wishers went this Saturday morning to greet him at the prison's gate, but was told he was made to leave the jail's premise hours earlier. Supporters and sympathizers later traveled to his hometown Benslimane and gathered in front of his family's home to express their unwavering support for the Al-Massae newspaper founder and top columnist.

    3. Rachid Nini Two Days Away From Freedom

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Mr. Nini is expected to be released this coming Saturday after having served his jail sentence. This petition will be closed once he's safely reunited with his family, with our deep gratitude to all those who have expressed their support for this case.

    4. The Last Dash In Nini's Ordeal

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      In less than one month, Rachid Nini would have served his jail sentence and should be set free. To all those who have voiced their support for Nini's cause, we say thank you and please stay tuned for further details on the circumstances surrounding his much-anticipated release.

    5. HRW: Secretary Clinton Should Urge Moroccan Authorities to Free Rachid Nini

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Rights-Friendly New Constitution Requires Revision of Repressive Speech Laws in Morocco

    6. Nini Wins the Oxfam/Pen Award

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Jailed Journalist Rachid Nini was awarded the Oxfam/Pen Award, as a recognition for his ordeal behind bars

    7. Nini's name not on the latest list of prisoners pardoned by the King

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Rachid Nini's name did not make it to the most recent list of prisoners pardoned by the King of Morocco. Many activists believe, however, that Nini's release should not come through pardon but his name should rather be cleared from any wrongdoing and that his conviction under common law--as opposed to the existing printing and publishing law--was a pure miscarriage of justice and should therefore be nullified.

    8. Telquel: Keeping Nini And El Haqed In Prison Means No Democracy in Morocco

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      French-language magazine TelQuel goes straight to the crux of the controversy surrounding the imprisonment of Rachid Nini and the 24-year old Rapper El Haqed by stating that the two men’s continuous plight is a proof that there’s no democracy in Morocco.
      Both El Haqed and Nini, writes TelQuel, are political prisoners who must be released without further delay. Regarding Rachid Nini’s case, TelQuel points out that his trial was a sham and his continuous ordeal is a bad sitcom that has been in play for eight months now. Nini’s rightful place is inside a newsroom, in front of a computer, says TelQuel (full text in French)..

    9. Human Rights Watch To Morocco: "Free Rachid Nini"

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Moroccan authorities should void the conviction of a journalist who is serving a one-year term for “gravely offending” public officials and disparaging the courts, Human Rights Watch said today. Rachid Nini’s incarceration belies the commitment of Moroccan authorities to freedom of expression as affirmed in the country’s new constitution, Human Rights Watch said....

    10. Reached 3,000 signatures
    11. Court of Appeals Upholds Nini's Jail Sentence

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has said the ruling was a "politicized verdict ... (and) the latest instance of the Moroccan government settling scores with critical journalists through a judiciary that is subservient to the executive branch"...

    12. Nini's Health--Slow-Motion Torture?

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Rachid Nini has lost a lot of weight. His health is still deteriorating as he's been subjected to harsh prison treatment, namely:
      - Life-threatening water leaks from the electric socket in the ceiling of his cell
      - Recurrent cutoffs of running water
      - Sleep depravation through constant sledgehammer noise around his cell
      - Denying the prisoner writing tools like pens and pads
      - Censoring his reading material through conservative religious authorities
      - Forbidding the prisoner's use of land-line phone for any contact with his family
      - Denying international organizations the right to visit the prisoner in his cell
      There is more to be told if Rachid Nini ever comes out alive of a prison that is so notorious for its mysterious deaths amongst its inmates.
      I will personally hold the US DOS responsible for Rachid Nini's safety and the due process in his current hardship in Moroccan prisons. There should be no compromise or quid-pro-quo in his incarceration. He must be set free immediately

    13. Appellate Court Decision Set For Monday, October 24

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The Appeals Court of Casablanca is set to issue its verdict on Rachid Nini's case on Monday, October 24, amid a heated debate on whether Nini, as a journalist, should have been tried under the common judicial law, as opposed to the existing Moroccan printing and publishing law governing the media.

    14. Abdallah Damoun becomes acting Almasae Editor

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Abdallah Damoun, a noted columnist in Almasae, has been nominated Editor and Publisher of Nini's paper--a sign that maybe Rachid Nini's prompt return to his publication was kind of wishful thinking on the part of many observers of Moroccan politics. Sources say he may never be able to jumpstart his controversial and highly charged "Shouf Tshouf" column, but he may opt instead for writing a book on his incredible prison experience. But in Morocco, the mere contemplation of writing a book like that is considered utterly suicidal.

    15. Court Decision Postponed Until October 18

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The appeals court postponed today its decision on Rachid Nini's case until the 18th of this month. Meanwhile, Nini's defense team is still pushing for a court dismissal of the primary court's verdict, citing improper handling of Nini's case, as he was sentenced under common law--not under the proper conduit of an existing law governing printing and publishing in Morocco.

    16. Temp Release Denied, Prisoner's Rights Still Curtailed

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The Casablanca appeals court again rejected Nini's plea for release with bail while court is looking into his case. Prison authority insisting on subjecting Nini to unusually harsh treatment, denying him his basic rights as a prisoner.

    17. Reached 2,500 signatures
    18. Appeals Court Denies Nini Temporary Release

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      A Casablanca appeals court rejected Nini's plea for release with bail. Next court date is still set for September 15.

    19. Further court hearings set for Sep/ 15

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The case of Rachid Nini was scheduled for further hearings by the appeals court in Casablanca, Morocco. Next session set for September 15, 2011

    20. Moroccan journalist Rachid Nini denied release

      Sarah Ryan
      Campaigns Strategist and Coordinator

      A Casablanca appeals court on Thursday (August 18th) rejected Al Massae editor Rachid Nini's request for provisional release, MAP reported.

    21. Court Hearing to Resume Thursday

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The Appeals Court will reconvene Thursday, August 18, most likely with the long-awaited decision on whether Rachid Nini will be released from prison.

    22. Appeals Court Hearing Set

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      The first Appeals Court session for Rachid Nini's case is set for Thursday, August 11th. Mr. Nini has already spent 100+ days in solitary confinement with no access to his basic rights as a prisoner.

    23. Reached 2,000 signatures
    24. King Pardons 968 Convicts--No Pardon For Rachid Nini

      Mohamed Dourrachad
      Petition Organizer

      Mr. Nini's name did not make it to the customary list of pardoned prisoners which coincides with the King's crowning anniversary. It was reported earlier that Mr. Nini had been asked to request the King's pardon, but it was not clear if he did.

    25. Islam and Human Rights: The Case of Journalist Rachid Nini

      Sarah Ryan
      Campaigns Strategist and Coordinator

      Human rights violations are proving to be one of the major concerns in the Muslim World. From Morocco to Malaysia, Muslim populations are demanding basic rights, equal justice under the law, accountability, economic stability and democracy.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Aimine sakim FARANCE, FRANCE
      • over 2 years ago

      Pour Rachid Nine pas de solutions..le dossier est fini..le dernier discours dr Monsieur monsieur le ministre avec le Roi du Maroc ..Non pour NiNi ..et bien il doit terminer une année de prison..c'est dommage!!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Susan Julia DOBBS FERRY, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere--Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Geoff Allshorn MONTMORENCY, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Please demonstrate your respect for universal human rights by acting to help this man.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mohammed /// CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
      • almost 3 years ago

      Some accounts may be by some people on the fingers headers ... and we ask His Majesty King Mohammed VI to release the journalist Rachid Nini, and more research to those who have imprisoned the innocent people of this type because it is a national duty and the fight against corruption. . waiting for permission to intervene Royal

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mohammed /// CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
      • almost 3 years ago

      Some accounts may be by some people on the fingers headers ... and we ask His Majesty King Mohammed VI to release the journalist Rachid Nini, and more research to those who have imprisoned the innocent people of this type because it is a national duty and the fight against corruption. . waiting for permission to intervene Royal...

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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