Two Norwegian journalists turned back on arrival in El Aaiún

first_img RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Help by sharing this information Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News April 28, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders today accused the Moroccan authorities of “administrative manipulation” after two Norwegian journalists were turned back on their arrival on 24 October at El Aaiún airport in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara because they did not have press visas.Anne Torhild Nilsen and Radmund Steinsvag had requested visas at the Moroccan embassy in Oslo in January without getting a response. Instead of openly refusing to give journalists visas, the Moroccan authorities often sit on applications indefinitely.“These two journalists, who are known for their coverage of Western Sahara, have once again been the victims of the Moroccan government’s bad faith,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Any pretext will do in order to obstruct their work. They were prevented from working more than a year ago when making a documentary about the human right situation in the region.”When contacted by Reporters Without Borders, the Moroccan embassy in Oslo said it sent their visa applications to Rabat and was still waiting for a reply. The embassy said the decision whether to issue a visa to a journalist “depends on many criteria” but did not say what they were.Nilsen and Steinsvag arrived in El Aaiún, the capital of Western Sahara, on a flight from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands but were stopped by immigration officials, who checked with their superiors and then told them to return to Las Palmas on the same plane and submit a visa request there. The plane’s departure was delayed until the two journalists had reboarded.Nilsen said: “The Moroccan ploy of not responding to journalists’ visa requests is very clever. There is little you can do when they do not respond. We cannot denounce them because they have not told us were are banned from entering Morocco. A definitive ‘no’ would clearly show that impartial observers are not welcome and that the regime has things to hide.” to go further October 25, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two Norwegian journalists turned back on arrival in El Aaiún News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Newscenter_img Receive email alerts Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara RSF_en NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say June 8, 2021 Find out more News Organisation Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img