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Moroccan court orders shut down of cultural organisation Racines

14 January 2019
A court in Casablanca has ordered the dissolution of Racines, a cultural organisation that promotes culture and advocates for freedom of expression in Morocco.
Photo: Racines Facebook

 

In late December 2018 a court in Casablanca ordered the dissolution of Racines—a non-governmental organisation that promotes culture and advocates for freedom of expression in Morocco and a long-term partner of Freemuse—over its involvement in a cultural programme.

Freemuse stands with Racines and its important work in engaging in cultural events and stimulating and initiating dialogues, as well as acting as a beacon for freedom of expression in the country.

Legal proceedings were initiated after the governor of Casablanca-Anfa filed a complaint over Racines’ hosting of the satirical online show 1 dîner, 2 cons (1 dinner, 2 dumbs), which discusses Moroccan news topics. In its judgment handed down on 26 December 2018, the Court of First Instance of Casablanca accepted the request for the dissolution of Racines and the liquidation of its property.

It said the request for dissolution is based on Racines having organised activities outside its stated objectives: facilitating access to culture, advocacy for the establishment of a cultural policy in Morocco, advocacy for the promotion of cultural diversity, advocacy for the status of artists and the organisation of cultural activities nationally, continentally and internationally.

Though severely hindered by these proceedings, Racines is still able to operate. The organisation is appealing the decision.

Freemuse will continue to follow the case closely.

 

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