Sunday, May 27, 2007

Two Black Eyes For Morocco

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via Global Voices' Jillian York: Late Friday night, A Moroccan in Washington D.C. broke the news that YouTube had been blocked in Morocco. He remarked that “It’s quite saddening to see such a thing happening in Morocco;a country that has made giant steps in freedoms and socio-economic reforms in the span of short 8 years.”
YouTube is not the first site banned in Morocco. Last year, Livejournal, one of the first blogging sites; and Google Earth, which offers satellite photos in sharp detail of most of the world were blocked. Certain sites and blogs documenting the Western Sahara conflict have been banned for years now, although a few in English remain. [continued...]

Hah! So Moroccans like censorship? Maybe they're being careful after the 2005 fiasco involving one of their top journalists:

'Le Soir' paper 'extremely shocked' to be associated in ethical scandal in Morocco
Morocco-Belgium, Local, 6/13/2005

The Belgian daily "Le Soir," whose former journalist, Philippe Servaty, is allegedly involved in an ethical scandal in Morocco, said it was "extremely shocked" for being associated to such an affair.

Servaty would have deluded over 80 Moroccan women, in the Moroccan south-western city of Agadir, into taking pornographic photo-shots and scenes on promises that he would marry them and ensure their legal stay in his country.

The photos and scenes were then compiled in a CD and sold in Agadir and in other cities of the kingdom.

Avenging Muslims Seek to Kill Belgian Journalist
From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2005-07-13 19:03
For decades Tintin has been the world’s most famous Belgian reporter. But now it looks like he may have a competitor. Philippe Servaty is the 42-year old chief economics correspondent of Le Soir, Brussels’ most influential newspaper. This modern Tintin’s adventures took him to Morocco several times over the past years. There dozens of women ended up in his bed and naked in front of his camera lens.
One of them is 42-year old Samira, a teacher in Agadir. Servaty told her that he loved her and asked her to pose nude for a souvenir picture... [continues... WARNING: Graphic descriptions]

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taamarbuuta said...

Thanks for posting about this!

I don't know if you can link the Phillippe Servaty incident to this, though. That guy was scum, and I don't blame Moroccans for being angry (though killing is obviously going too far) - he ruined the lives of those women, who are now forced to either be prostitutes or hammam workers, the lowest of the low.

We still haven't figured out why YouTube was blocked, but it's more likely that it was related to some videos mocking King Mohammed VI. Still, ugh.

-Jillian York

bathmate said...

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