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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Fears for jailed Moroccan editor
King Mohamed VI of Morocco
Published comments on the King and Islam are restricted

The family and friends of a newspaper editor on hunger strike after being jailed in Morocco for insulting the country's king say they are concerned for his health.

They say Ali Lamrabet has lost more than 20 kilograms since he stopped eating and his health is deteriorating.

Lamrabet who is diabetic with a heart condition has recently started to drink water again for his medication.

Abu Bakr Jami'i, editor of Moroccan newspaper, Le Journal Hebdomadaire, told BBC News Online that doctors treating Lamrabet, who has been moved to Avicenne Hospital in Rabat, had started to give him medicinal fluids intravenously.

His case has been taken up by the international journalists' organisation, Reporters Without Borders.

Appeal rejected

"Lawyers are questioning the court's decision to use against Lamrabet, article 400 of the criminal law which legally is applied to very dangerous hardcore criminals in Morocco," said Mr Bakr Jami'i.

Ali Lamrabet
Lamrabet is getting weaker by the day

A Moroccan court rejected on Thursday, an appeal for his provisional release, until 10 June when he goes back to the appeal court.

Lamrabet, the editor of two satirical weeklies, Demain and Doumane, was sentenced in May to four years in prison for "insulting the king's person" and "undermining [Morocco's] territorial integrity" in recent articles and cartoons.

Apart from the jail sentence, Lamrabet was also fined about $2,100 and his two magazines were banned after his conviction.

Editor jailed for Morocco insult
21 May 03  |  Africa
Morocco suspect dies in custody
28 May 03  |  Middle East
Moroccan editor on hunger strike
07 May 03  |  Africa
Finding a voice in Morocco
14 Jan 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Morocco
03 Mar 03  |  Country profiles

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