This article was published on September 10, 2008

In our world, bloggers still get jailed for their writings, like Erraji


In our world, bloggers still get jailed for their writings, like Erraji
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
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Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Just a reminder on the Wednesday morning that what we, millions of bloggers, do, isn’t that normal in the rest of the world. For many people, blogging whatever you want is an illusion. Like Mohamed Erraji, 29, who wrote in online newspaper Hespress that Morocco had been destroyed by a culture of handing out gifts and privileges by the government. According to him, begging has become a rewarding activity in the north African kingdom.

“It has made the Moroccans a people without dignity, who live by donations and gifts,” Erraji wrote.

The government took this as showing disrespect to the king, which is, according to Morocco’s press code, an offense. So Erraji was jailed on Friday and dragged to court on Monday, where he was sentenced to two years in prison and a hefty fine. He had no defense lawyer and the judgment only took ten minutes.

According to Reuters, Reporters Without Borders said the sentence was “worthy of the most totalitarian states” and demanded Erraji’s liberation. The government officials could not be reached for comment.

So while you and I start another day of blogging freely, somebody lives a captured life because of his writings. Just think about that every once in a while and consider to do a write-up on this as well.

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