In a discussion with me last week about freedom of expression in his country, Moroccan Minister of Communication Moustapha Khalfi boasted that Sahrawi people living in Western Sahara who opposed Moroccan rule over the contested former Spanish colony are free to post whatever they want online without facing cybercensorship.
Activists in El-Ayoun, the capital of Western Sahara – or the “southern provinces” as Khalfi prefers to call it — confirm that Morocco does not block their online content. But the interference with activists’ work comes earlier. People caught filming police actions risk getting their equipment confiscated; bloggers have been threatened, demonstrations blocked or tightly controlled so as to limit the images that make it online.
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