Photo credit: AP Photo/Jesus Merida.
Source: AP News.
Lede: The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday backed Spain’s express deportation of two African migrants back to Morocco from a Spanish enclave in northwest Africa as part of a mass expulsion.
Key Background: The two men, along with several dozen others, crossed the high three border wire fences separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco in August 2014. They were caught by Spanish police and immediately returned to Morocco.
Why this is newsworthy: The article goes on to say that human rights organizations regularly criticize express deportations like this one. Spain’s actions and the court’s decision to side with Spain could act as a precedent for future cases and effect immigration practices between Spain and Morocco, especially at the Cueta and Melilla borders.
Lede: To UK-based NGO Amnesty International, Moroccan authorities «are intensifying their crackdown on peaceful voices with a new wave of arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of individuals, including a journalist, rappers and YouTubers, many of whom have been targeted simply for criticizing the King or other officials».
Key Background: Amnesty International revealed that it has documented the cases of ten activists who have been arrested and sentenced since November 2019. Four of these people were tried for «offending» or «insulting» the King or the Monarchy.
Why this is newsworthy: Criticizing the monarchy is one of the “red lines” of Moroccan media. This article is coverage of a news report that Amnesty International released on Morocco’s treatment of those critical of the monarchy. Yabiladi’s coverage of the report indicates that Amnesty International has a significant audience and that its report could call wider attention to Morocco’s crackdowns.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: Rabat has assumed the illustrious title of Africa’s Capital of Culture after Marrakech withdrew from the running.
Key Background: The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) organize the “African capital of culture” program. Marrakech was set to claim the title and gearing up to celebrate with artistic events and musical performances throughout the ochre city on January 31.
Why this is newsworthy: More tourists have been coming to Morocco, and the title “Africa’s Capital of Culture” could be a draw for outsiders. Marrakech’s withdrawal from the race indicates that Morocco may try to shift some of its tourism from Marrakech to Rabat, Morocco’s capital city.