Moroccan Cartoonist’s Trial Delayed
The trial of Khalid Gueddar, the first political cartoonist to ever depict the king, had his trial delayed [French] from Wednesday to September 5th. Gueddar was arrested two weeks ago and was told the following day that his charges were for public intoxication and insulting the police. His arrest, however, came two days before the launch of his new satirical magazine. He has since been released pending trial, but the launch of his magazine is postponed.
Meanwhile, wine producers and tourism-sector workers, including the National Tourism Federation and the National Federation of Restaurant Owners wrote a letter objecting to a proposed law that would ban advertising alcohol and prohibit events with alcoholic drinks. The signatories believe the law is a step back from the government’s promises of respect for personal freedom and a detriment to their industries.
Also, a German court charged a Moroccan national of spying for the Moroccan government on supporters of the Polisario, the Western Sahara independence group. The man accused denied the allegations and no trial date has been set. Meanwhile, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, criticized [French] the lack of progress on UN negotiations over Western Sahara in a letter to Secretary Clinton. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen called for renewed action in light of the ”increasingly precarious” situation in the Tindouf refugee camps.
Additionally, the New York City Bar Association released a 107-page-report Monday on “the principle of self-determination and the legal claims of Morocco” in regards to Western Sahara. The report concludes “ the people of Western Sahara clearly have a right under international law principles to self-determination that is undiminished by any legitimate territorial or other legal claim of Morocco.” The Association recommends that the Sahrawi people have the right to determine their own status, and says any future settlement short of this is legally illegitimate.