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Moroccan blogger freed

On 18 September 2008, the Court of Appeal in Agadir, Morocco, overturned the two-year sentence imposed on blogger Mohamed Erraji by the Court of First Instance for "lack of respect for the king". The court dropped all charges against him on the grounds of procedural irregularities in the previous trial. Amnesty International has welcomed the decision by the Court of Appeal. The organization stressed that Mohamed Erraji should never have been charged in the first place. Amnesty International has called on the Moroccan authorities to promptly abolish all provisions in Moroccan law that violate the fundamental right to freedom of expression. Mohamed Erraji became the first blogger to be sentenced to two years imprisonment on Monday 8 September. He was also fined 5,000 dirhams (US$625) for “lack of respect due to the King”.