Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cat in Prison

No more taboos! More freedom!

There. I've said it. Now fine me. Throw me in prison.


Well those were some of the slogans on the placards carried by human rights activist Mohamed Bougrine and his colleagues last month during a sit-in. The reason for the protest? - the arrest and imprisonment of other activists who had staged a peaceful demonstration on May Day to mark International Workers' Day. This first group was charged with "undermining the monarchy" - which in Morocco is tantamount to attacking religious values - and not very surprisingly alleged that

... they were ill-treated during arrests and threatened during interrogations and defence lawyers were reportedly not able to call defence witnesses during the trials.

The activists from the sit-in were subsequently arrested and charged with the same heinous crime - pissing off Mohammed VI.

Tuesday, the septuagenarian Mohamed Bougrine was sentenced to one year in prison. His lawyer, Mohamed Sebbar rightly contends that his client "has been sentenced for his opinions."

But Bougrine is unlikely to curl up into a ball and suffer debilitating and liberating attacks of claustrophobia. Unlike Paris Hilton, Bougrine knows his way around a Moroccan prison - a dubious honour indeed - having been a much favoured guest of King Hassan II and before that the French protectorate for over 15 years.

I wonder if you can get a cup of coffee in prison for less than 4 dirhams...


houda n said...

I think that the price of the coffee in prison would very much depend on:

1. The standard of your Dareeja and Tamazeeght.

2. Whether or not you had lived in, or indeed abandoned, the Southeast, on the edge of the Eastern High Atlas park.

Me and my camera said...

That's a horrible story...

Liosliath said...

Houda, do you have something to contribute other than boring sarcasm? Hmara.

Amanda said...

Wow. Houda Hmara has a nice ring to it. :) Muskina

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, everyone has a right to their opinion. Perhaps not in Morocco.

Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Ironic that my posting today was about the inability to express opinions in Morocco.

houda n said...

Oh dear Liosliath, you're not very good at practising what you preach...all this 'keeping a civil tongue in your head' and then calling me H'mara. Shame on you too, dear Amanda.

Cat - I have carefully read the comments by Liosliath and Amanda, and I don't think that it gives a fair picture of the whole of Houda N.

You misjudge me, Liosliath - it is certainly not sarcasm.

It is a great shame that neither of you are happy for me to express my opinions. But carry on calling me Houda H'mara - it is your opinion and I won't try to take it away from you, if it adds a little light to your lives.

Liosliath said...

Houda - Since you seem to be lacking in logic skills, let me help you. There's a big difference between insulting thousands of Moroccans who live in little villages, and specifically pointing out the ridiculous and laughable elements of a specific poster. No one said you can't have an opinion, go right ahead - but I fail to find any evidence of that in your initial comment on this page. In fact, it seems to be simply mocking Amanda's earlier comment. Misjudged you? I think not.

Then again, this is Cat's blog, not mine, so go ahead and post all the drivel you like.

houda n said...

Tee-hee, dearie, tee-hee.

houda n said...

Oh, dearie, I'm looking forward to posting on your blog too! It will have to wait until I come back from my holidays - off to France for the month of July. Thought of going to the Southeast, on the edge of the Eastern High Atlas park... but then thought better of it... it'll be very, very hot and dried out at this time of year, won't it, dearie?

Liosliath said...

You can post, but I'll delete it. Enjoy your holidays.

Amanda said...

Houda -- I don't mind your opinions one bit. No ill feelings here. I was just expressing my own opinion / experience in the last post, too. Nothing wrong with that, is there? I just don't understand where the rudeness came from and why my telling you where I lived specifically and why I thought language impacted price had to be bantered around and made fun of.

Anyway, I know who you are! Na-na-na-na-na (school yard chanting nasally voice)

houda n said...

Take it your a Republican, dearie, speech and all that stuff. You must be very happy to be back home with Uncle Georgie W.

I won't be anywhere near your blog, dearie, and I hope all other free thinkers will stay away too. Well, I might read a wee bit from time to time but it's got a bit turgid, no, dearie?

I know that you would hate me to enjoy my holidays. Anyway, nice to see that you've got a bit of a civil tongue back in your head.

Amanda said...

Oh and Liosliath - thanks a lot for calling my comments "laughable and ridiculous." Apparently my experience and opinions are simply not welcome here. Point taken.

Liosliath said...

Amanda, I meant Houda, not you. You actually had an opinion, while Houda did not. I value your input just as much as Cat's, or anyone else who writes about Moroccco - which is to say, quite a bit.

Houda, I welcome different viewpoints on my blog (the discussion we had about Dati, for example), but your brand of "commenting" is nothing more than snark. The only opinion I've seen from you so far is that my blog is turgid. Point taken, and you're right about one more thing - I don't really care if you enjoy your holiday.

P.S. I'm neither Republican or Democrat.

houda n said...

Liosliath (I still don't know how to pronounce that one, Maybe 'Leo-sly-ath'); “you say 'snark' like it's a bad thing”.

I'm glad you take my point about your blog being 'turgid', dearie - brighten it up a bit, lover - put some life into it. Get these comments up to double figures – mind you, that might be difficult if you are deleting all the ones that you don’t like.

Amanda, my dearie, I don’t know where that rudeness came from (and I am sorry)…probably Liosliath is to blame – just look how rude she was to you, branding your comments as "laughable and ridiculous."

Anyway, Amanda, you know who I am, and realize that I am on your side, dearie.

Liosliath said...

There's the type of snark that's funny and cleverly done (like much of Cat's writing) - the rest is just internet trolls banging away at the keyboard.

I'll certainly consider your suggestion to "liven" up my blog, just as soon as you enlighten us as to where your blog might reside. I need to see some examples of just what "putting some life into it" might entail.

First comment by Houda - mocking Amanda

Last comment by Houda - Amanda, I'm on your side.


houda n said...

Well dearie, you have been dominating Cat's blog for the past few days. I don't want to be seen to be encouraging you. Hopefully it has given you some inspiration.

A writer to a newspaper's letter page need not have their own newspaper. Ditto for blog commenters.

Off to the airport. 'Bon vacances' to all.

Jillian said...

This is 2007. Who on earth says "dearie" and "lover" nowadays?

Must be a limey.