Vous avez voté ? Maintenant ne vous souciez de rien, le palais s’occupe du reste…

Intéressant article signé par la très sérieuse Associated Press dans lequel on peut lire une déclaration de Abdellah Baha qui reconnaît que le retard accusé lors des tractations pour former le gouvernement était dû aux réticences du palais quant à la nomination de Ramid au ministère de la justice.

Aboubakr Jamai y est également cité. Il considère que les concessions du PJD constituent une défaite pour les islamistes : “C’est une défaite majeure pour le PJD; c’est au moins le signe qu’ils ne prennent pas sérieux la nécessite de faire face aux réels problèmes de ce gouvernement.”

L’article ne mentionne pas l’autre niveau de contrôle que constituent les “conseillers” du roi qui, s’ajoutant aux ministres délègues et autre Secrétaire Général du gouvernement, forment un système à double verrou ou le PJD sera gardé bien en laisse.

Les gens qui ont voté, ne se sentent ils pas trahis ? Non ? Même pas un chouia ? Walou ?

Ramid veut reformer la Justice… mais “c’est au roi de prendre la décision”

Mustapha Ramid est probablement le plus en vue des ministres du parti islamiste PJD, depuis qu’il a été nommé à la tête d’un des ministères clés du gouvernement marocain, celui de la Justice (et des libertés publiques, faut-il le préciser ?). Il s’est distingué dans le passé par son franc parler et ses positions clairement opposées aux pratiques du Makhzen, le pouvoir marocain. Dans une interview qu’il a accordée mardi à Reuters, le nouveau ministre déclare vouloir mettre fin aux pratiques du passé, notamment en ce qui concerne le code de la presse et le cas des nombreux prisonniers d’opinion, pour lesquels il laisse entendre qu’il demandera la grâce royale :

“Nous avons notre vision des choses mais nous avons également des contraintes institutionnelles. Le gouvernement ne peut pas intervenir dans la justice. C’est une institution indépendante.

“Il y a cependant une voie unique, qui est celle du pardon royal. Nous y travaillerons donc et nous déploierons nos efforts pour essayer de régler ce problème. En fin de compte, ce n’est pas à nous de décider mais c’est au roi de prendre la décision. Nous essaierons de faire en sorte que cette décision soit basée sur des informations et des propositions que nous présenterons (au roi).” Continue reading

A Must Watch: Absolute Power

This is a fascinating, at times chilling documentary from Aljazeera by one of its senior journalists, at least one of my favorite, since his days in the BBC, Rageh Omar, revealing “the tricks of the trade” of Arab dictatorship.

Morocco: Heading For A Make Or Break Moment

Sunday, February 20, 2011 was a rainy and cold day. Not the kind of days you would think one would choose to start a revolution. Yet Moroccan pro-democracy activists chose to make that day the start of what now has become a nationwide movement for change.

I’m not going to tell you a lot about the politics of Feb. 20 Movement (or #FEB20 as the movement is now widely recognized on Twitter), but I will rather be talking to you about the momentous moment that lies ahead in the road for reform in Morocco.

Later this year (probably in September) Moroccans will be asked to vote Yes or Noto a revised, already controversial, version of the Moroccan Constitution. How important will this moment be for the future of the country? What is really at stake? And what can we learn from other countries’ experience in using freely accessible technology to help people make informed and critical decisions on the day of the vote?

I’m working on a translation of this post which will be soon available in both Arabic and French.

I will be moving my blog soon to another platform. You can view this post in my new page here.

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Twitter: A Weapon of Mass Dissemination

The Tunisian Revolution wouldn’t have succeeded without Tunisian people’s courage and sacrifices during their four weeks of relentless, now historical, uprising. Social media has played an undeniable role in coordinating protesters’ efforts in what Sami Ben Gharbia, co-editor of Nawaat.org and director of Global Voices Advocacy, calls a cascade of information, which eventually convinced more people –the middle class in particular– to join the movement.

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Talk Morocco: One Year In Pictures

Talk Morocco stands for freedom of speech and cultural dialog in Morocco. I co-founded it with my friend Jillian C. York one year ago. We launched it in Beirut during the Second Arab Bloggers Summit. Talk Morocco hopes to offer a platform as well as a breathing space for those passionate about free speech, democracy and Human Rights in Morocco.

Talk Morocco is only made possible by the creative work and generous effort of its volunteer authors.
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Tunisia: North Korea Redux, At a Stone’s Throw Distance From Europe

I’ve been monitoring the French media for the last couple of weeks, keeping close note of what is being aired at prime time. The (unscientific) conclusion I reached is predictably disappointing: self-centered, mediocre, overwhelmingly boring, out of touch. Although the French media is closer culturally to Tunisia, its navel gazing and hypocrisy have never been more pathological. I haven’t seen much reports or in-depth analysis of what is happening in Tunisia. It’s not like people haven’t been protesting for more than two weeks now.

The country is being literally shut down from the rest of the world by Ben Ali’s online mob. The wall of internet censorship has grown higher and soon there will be nothing left out there for free Tunisians to voice their concerns to the rest of the world. A situation similar only to North Korea, which the French know more about than Tunisia, which is at a stone’s throw distance from Europe’s shores. In the virtual absence of mainstream media coverage, citizen journalists have decided to take over. Nawaat.org and it’s team of editors has been doing a great job in coordinating efforts to help Tunisian activists circumvent censorship online.

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The War You Don’t See

Dan Rather, heir to the iconic American news anchor Walter Cronkite, admitted: “if we [journalists] had done our job and stopped being war stenographers, maybe we could have stopped that war [in Iraq].” As we enter 2011, and at a time when for mainstream news outlets, facts don’t seem to matter anymore and when illusions are held for true, all we can hope is for a major paradigm shift to happen. What Wikileaks and other independent online whistleblower organizations do, is making the truth so compelling that it becomes very difficult or impossible to spin. This is tremendously important. The truth matters as it could have meant life and death, freedom and occupation for Iraqis, Palestinians and Afghans.

Make no mistake, the trial against Julian Assange is an attempt to stifle freedom of speech. It’s a pathetic case of character assassination.

So it’s all the more important to pause for a moment and remember where mainstream media has failed to report the truth.

John Pilger is a former war correspondent and award-winning documentary film maker. His latest film was first shown on British independent TV a couple of days ago. “The War You Don’t See” is a poignant look at the way mainstream media has manipulated the facts in the run up to America’s wars.

The full version is available free online until 10 January 2011. So don’t miss it. You can support Pilger’s work by buying his films online here.