The Ministry of Culture and Communication: The Classification of Morocco by Freedom House Organization is Unobjective

The Ministry of Culture and Communication issued a press release about Freedom House organization 2018 report entitled “Freedom on the Net”. The Ministry indicates that the report disregards Morocco’s commitment to international standards concerning freedom of expression and the development of digital media that is based on three indicators: freedom, access to the Internet and the promotion of digital media and Internet ads’ expenditure.
The Ministry of Culture and Communication considers the scoring made by the organization to be inaccurate, unobjective and unjustified; it does not bring into focus the positive indicators of freedom of the press and the media enabling Morocco to be classified among the countries that enjoy freedom of the Internet and social media.
The following is the press release:
A report issued by Freedom House organization on Internet freedom score classifies Morocco in the 2nd position in the Middle East and North African region and 33rd at the international level with a score of 45/100. The report classifies the countries into three categories: free, partly free and not free. It classifies Morocco in the second category, as partly free, containing some inaccurate and unobjective data. This score does not reflect the progress made at the level of the freedom of the press and digital media, disregarding both Morocco’s commitment to international standards regarding freedom of speech and the development of digital media based on the following three indicators:
Freedom indicator: The adoption of the press and publication code that involves 3 components: the law related to the press and publication, the law related to professional journalists, the law on the creation of National Press Council, which empowers the press and media with an advanced legal framework in conformity with international standards related to media and the press freedom. These guarantees are consolidated by law provisions of the protection of the secrecy of the sources in the news along with other public supporting measures allocated to the media in accordance with legislative and regulatory provisions in force. 
Access to internet and the promotion of digital media indicator: legal guarantees ensuring freedom of digital media have been established by virtue of the Constitution, rising the number of digital media with the domain name “.ma”, to 129 newspapers by the end of the year 2017 in comparison to 73 newspapers in 2016 is an indicator. The number of journalists working in digital media has moved to 349 journalists in 2017 in comparison to 98 journalists in 2015.
The rise of Internet ads expenditure indicator: 59% of advertisement expenditure has gone to Internet video ads. Last year digital press benefited anew from public funds. These media outlets are characterized by different categories of investors. Total freedom is guaranteed to launch online newspapers. In addition, no prohibition, suspension, encroachment of digital media’s independence or editorial line, closure or the blockage of access to any website was registered in the said year.  
Thus, this score is considered as inaccurate, unobjective, unjustified and does not bring into focus the positive indicators of freedom of the press and the media enabling Morocco to be classified among the countries enjoying freedom of the Internet and social media.    
 

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