The court in Agadir, in southwest Morocco, convicted Erraji on Monday in a closed trial and sentenced him to two years imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 dinars (US$626), according to his family and local news reports. Erraji, 32, is a contributor to HesPress, a Moroccan daily news Web site.
The trial lasted for about 10 minutes, and Erraji did not have a defense lawyer, HesPress reported. His family said they are looking for a lawyer and plan to appeal to the court’s decision.
“This is another unfortunate milestone in the decline of press freedom in Morocco, which once had a reputation for an independent press,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said. “Mohamed Erraji was convicted after a 10-minute, closed-door hearing without a defense attorney. This is a farce. We call for this conviction to be overturned.”