Royal pardon for Internet user, condemned to three years of jail for creating spoof Facebook profile for prince

first_img RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Organisation March 19, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Royal pardon for Internet user, condemned to three years of jail for creating spoof Facebook profile for prince News RSF_en Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out more to go further June 8, 2021 Find out more News Newscenter_img Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News Help by sharing this information Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders welcomes Fouad Mourtada’s release after receiving a royal pardon yesterday for Aid Mawlid Nabaoui, the holiday marking the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. Mourtada’s had been serving a three-year jail sentence for “usurping the identity” of King Mohammed’s brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, by creating a “false profile” in his name on the social-networking website Facebook. “This is a great relief,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Mourtada will be able to spend this holiday with his family tomorrow after 43 days in prison. Nonetheless, we regret that his release is the result of a royal pardon rather than a fair verdict and sentence. Moroccan bloggers will not be able to forget his imprisonment when they compose their blog entries.” Mourtada’s conviction on 22 February had raised a great deal of concern in the Moroccan blogosphere. He was arrested at his home on 5 February.———————26.02 – Moroccan bloggers worried after “disproportionate” three-year jail term for Internet user who created spoof Facebook profileReporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the three-year prison sentence which a Casablanca court imposed on 27-year-old Internet user Fouad Mourtada on 22 February for “usurping the identity” of King Mohammed’s brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, by creating a “false profile” in his name on the social-networking website Facebook.“This is the first time a Moroccan has been convicted for an online offence and Mourtada was the victim of a summary trial,” the press freedom organisation said. “We are worried about the effect on freedom of expression on the Moroccan Internet as all of the country’s bloggers will feel targeted. This disproportionate sentence has shocked the Moroccan blogger community, which is one of the biggest in the region. A popular and well respected blogger already decided to stop blogging out of fear for his safety after what happened to Fuad Mourtada.”Plain-clothes police arrested Mourtada at his home on 5 February and held him incommunicado for 36 hours before transferring him to Casablanca’s Oukacha prison the next day.Reporters Without Borders wonders how the police identified Mourtada. “Did the police get his computer’s IP address? And if so, how? We have asked the ISP, Maroc Telecom, in which the French company Vivendi is a shareholder, to provide us with the relevant information.”When he saw his family on 12 February, he told them: “I did indeed create this account on 15 January. It remained online for several days until someone closed it down. There are so many celebrity profiles on Facebook. I never thought that by creating a profile of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid that I was doing him any harm. Also, I did not send anyone a message from this account. It was just a joke (…) I am not a criminal.”With around 4 million Internet users, the Moroccan blogosphere is one of the most active in all of the Maghreb.Call for Mourtada’s release NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Personal traits can affect votes

first_imgA day into the voting period, the question currently at the forefront of every Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidate’s mind is: who will win?The candidates have spent the past week advertising their platforms and convincing students they are most qualified for the job. But when it comes down to it, students are likely to vote based on myriad other factors.Decisions · Students submit their votes for USG office at a voting center outside the Lyon Center on Tuesday. All voters were given free food. – Youli Zheng | Daily Trojan Ann Crigler, professor of political science, said voters consider things like a candidate’s appearance, whether or not the candidate has similar values to their own or if the candidate shares the same network of associations. Voters will often consider the issues, she said, but the other factors are often more important.Some students said it was, in fact, personal connections that influenced their vote.Justin Mercer, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, said he is voting for a particular ticket because he is friends with one of the candidates.“I know [him] personally, so I’m going to vote for him,” Mercer said.Mercer said he does not know the candidates’ platforms, but he is supporting the ticket because of his personal connection.Ted Tao, a junior majoring in business administration, said he  has worked with the candidate he will vote for and is convinced he has the necessary qualities to lead USG.“I realized that he is actually a very gifted individual in terms of listening and keeping up with the students’ perspectives and being able to really, truly understand what they need,” Tao said. “He’s very organized, very focused and very driven, and I just like the fact that he’s always smiling.”Tao did not attend USG’s debate and admitted his vote is based largely on character. He added, though, that he thinks a lot of students don’t weigh platform points heavily when they vote.Some students, however, have made a point of learning about the candidates’ stances on the issues.“I didn’t really think I was going to be that interested but once [the candidates] presented some of the issues I really did get involved, and kind of did find out more, and want to get involved and wanted to learn more about the candidate and what they were presenting,” said Debbie Rumbo, a freshman majoring in political science and Spanish.Ultimately, though, Rumbo said she will vote based on presentation rather than platform when it comes to specific issues.“For me … it’s oratory — how they present themselves to the public [and] if they seem to want to incorporate what we think into their campaign,” she said.According to Crigler, many vote for the people who are most like them. It is critical for candidates to have a community of supporters behind them, she said.Traditionally the residential community has shown the highest number of voters compared to the Greek or commuter communities, according to Scott Hummel, co-director of elections and recruitment for USG and a junior majoring in communication.“Last year was unique because we saw an increase in voting among the Greek community,” he added.Hummel said he is confident that current USG President Holden Slusher’s involvement in Greek life was a big factor in his winning the USG presidency last spring.Crigler said she was not surprised that many past winners have been Greek.“Sororities and fraternities already have a strong base of support,” Crigler said. “It certainly helps get the message out more effectively.”This year, the campaign period began Feb. 8 and candidates will continue to campaign throughout the voting period, ending Feb. 18, which only gives students 10 days to get to know the candidates.“Ten days is the most reasonable time,” Hummel said. “It takes a lot of man power, money and resources to make sure we promote elections and allow candidates to promote themselves.”USG remains neutral in providing information on candidate platforms. According to the election code, distributing information on the candidates and their platforms is the candidates’ duty. Placing this responsibility on the presidential hopefuls — some of whom currently hold positions within USG — saves USG from entering into potentially dangerous waters.“We take the issue of being an unbiased organization seriously,” Hummel said. “We want to make sure we are not an exclusive, internally hiring organization.”Presidential hopefuls in the running this year include Chris Cheng, USG’s director of external relations; Dylan Dann, a Greek senator; Andrew Matson, USG’s director of academic affairs; and Jonathan Munoz-Proulx.Voting began Tuesday and will continue through Thursday. Students can vote online or at several locations on campus.last_img read more

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