Morocco blocks Spain's El Pais over royal cartoons

27th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Spanish leading paper was blocked after it reprinted cartoons deemed disrespectful to the Moroccan royal family.

Madrid – Morocco blocked distribution of the Saturday edition of leading Spanish daily newspaper El Pais after it reprinted cartoons deemed disrespectful to the royal family, the newspaper said Monday.

Moroccan authorities accused the newspaper of "attacking the monarchy" with the publication of the cartoons, which were published last week in French daily Le Monde, El Pais said on its website.

Morocco also blocked distribution of the Thursday and Friday editions of the French newspaper Le Monde over the cartoons.

One of the cartoons is by Le Monde's star cartoonist Plantu and it depicts a hand reaching out of a Moroccan flag to create a child-like drawing of a funny face wearing a crown.

The other is by Moroccan caricaturist Khalid Gueddar and it alludes to the 25 September wedding of Prince Moulay Ismail, a cousin of King Mohammed VI, to a German convert to Islam.

That cartoon first appeared in Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Youm.

The Federation of Journalist Associations in Spain said it "deplored" the distribution ban slapped on El Pais, saying in a statement it was "regrettable that the Moroccan ministry of communication had opted for censorship".

Spanish media giant Prisa, which publishes El Pais, has a 15 percent stake in Le Monde.

AFP / Expatica

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