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CCDH 31st Plenary Session

The Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) holds its 31st plenary session on December 5, 2008 at the CCDH headquarters, located at Place Chouahada, Bab Laalou, Rabat.

The session will discuss two items on the agenda: the Press Code and the quarterly report of the CCDH activities.

The CCDH was asked in February 2007 by the Prime Minister to issue an advisory opinion on the draft Code of the Press and Professional Journalists, including maily its aspects of public freedoms and human rights.

To this end, the CCDH established a working group composed of its members and administrative executives. In addition to its meetings held in camera and dedicated to the discussion of this project, the Group organized meetings with the Minister of Communication and experts in the field.

The CCDH received also memoranda from the National Union of Press (SNP) and the National Federation of Publishers (FNE) stating their positions and proposals on the amendments proposed by this project.

In a preliminary memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister, the CCDH highlighted the need to deepen discussion on the project taking into consideration the following points:

- The role and responsibilities of the media in informing citizens within the process of democracy-building;

- Consolidating the constitutional gains in the field of freedom of expression and the need to develop a professional environment likely to continue the dynamics of social development in our country;

- Considering the legal vacuum related to the access to information and the right to information;

- The provisions containing imprisonment for non payment of debt and liberty-depriving sanctions;

- The need to define and clarify the media action and content complained of, to avoid interpretations that may restrict the freedoms of opinion, expression and cultural and artistic creation.

Also, the CCDH held in April 2008, a seminar on “the press code between international standards and national law”, attended by several stakeholders and experts in the field. The objective was to enrich the public debate and raise persistent issues in this regard.

Taking into account the different mutations at the national and international levels, the CCDH is now following this consultation process by integrating the debate on the press code in a global dynamic thinking on the public communication, in order to understand the different aspects of ethical and professional organization, including mainly the issue of self-regulation.

The opening of the session is scheduled at 9.00 am.