Freedom House releaseed the following statement after Morocco’s Interior Ministry brought criminal charges against local activists for sharing a report by the UK-based NGO Privacy International on government surveillance in the country.
During their scheduled meeting on November 22, President Barack Obama should press Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to live up to his promises of reform by guaranteeing all Moroccans and inhabitants of the Western Sahara the rights of freedom of expression, assembly and the press.
Each year at this time, Freedom House, a Washington-based institute that specializes in research on global democracy, issues a report on the condition of press freedom around the world. The report’s findings for the past year make for disturbing reading. The number of countries that experienced a significant decline in media freedom outstripped the number that registered improvements. Even worse, trends for the past decade indicate a steady erosion in the ability of media to cover the most critical civic and political issues. The report’s most chilling conclusion: Only one in six people worldwide live in societies with a genuinely free press, the lowest percentage in over a decade.