Moroccan journalist sentenced to jail over tweet

Journalist Omar Radi was ordered to pay a fine of 500 dirhams ($52). (Photo credit: CFImedias / YouTube)
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Updated 17 March 2020

Moroccan journalist sentenced to jail over tweet

  • A court in the Casablanca district of Ain Sebaa also ordered Radi to pay a fine of 500 dirhams ($52)
  • The ruling was immediately criticized by Amnesty International

RABAT: Moroccan journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi said Tuesday he had been handed a four-month suspended sentence for criticizing a judge in a tweet.
A court in the Casablanca district of Ain Sebaa also ordered Radi to pay a fine of 500 dirhams ($52), said the journalist, who reported the verdict in a tweet as courts in Morocco are closed to the public under measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“I had expected the trial to be scrapped. It is an attack on my freedom of expression,” Radi told AFP, adding that he will appeal the verdict.
The ruling was immediately criticized by Amnesty International, which urged Moroccan authorities to quash the sentence.
“Even though today’s verdict means Radi won’t serve time in prison, he should never have been put on trial in the first place or sentenced for expressing peaceful views on social media,” Amnesty’s regional director Heba Morayef said in a statement.
“This sentence reinforces the message that anyone in Morocco who stands up for human rights will be punished.”
In April last year, Radi criticized judge Lahcen Tolfi after he upheld sentences of up to 20 years in jail against leaders of a protest movement that rocked the country’s north in 2016 and 2017.
Radi was detained briefly in December and charged with “insulting magistrates” before being released following a social media outcry over his arrest.


Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

Updated 20 October 2020

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

  • Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets
  • Shoueiry founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region

RIYADH: Publicis Groupe MEA today announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer, Publicis Communications, UAE and Lower Gulf. Dimachkie is a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The company has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as chief digital officer, Publicis Communications, Middle East from Dec. 1. Dimachkie’s decision to leave comes after 33 years with the company. He will leave his current position on Dec. 31 and continue to act in a consultative capacity until June 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets including the US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Raja Trad, executive chairman at Publicis Groupe MEA said: “I respect Kamal’s decision. He has been a friend and a colleague for over three decades, and not just I but the entire Publicis Groupe family will miss him. His tenure at the Groupe has been characterized by a clear commitment to values that are central to our philosophy. Kamal’s adept leadership propelled the agency to new heights — we won more than 250 accolades and added numerous international and local clients to our roster. I want to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Groupe and wish him all the best for his professional future.”

Dimachkie added: “Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe have been my life for the past 33 years, and I am proud to have been a part of a glorious journey during which I have had the opportunity to serve the company in different roles in six countries, to have contributed to numerous clients and raised the bar internally and within the industry. Part of this has been the joy of working with a wonderful team and leadership, whom I have partnered with, learnt from and shall forever call my friends and brothers in arms. I am grateful to have lived the glory days of advertising with one of the best agencies in the world and to have worked with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I look forward to working with Samer on the upcoming transition and wish him success in his new role.”

Shoueiry, who will take on Dimachkie’s role, has over 21 years of experience across business, design and innovation. He has consistently delivered a robust performance in Publicis’ Experience Design and Experience Strategy, founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Trad said: “Samer has a record of leadership and value creation, deep experience in generating groundbreaking brand experiences, as well as a focus on strategic design, innovation excellence and a strong technological footing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him to drive our digital transformation in the region and support the spread of innovation through investments in our people, technology, platforms and tools. Together, we will ensure that we continue to move our business forward in the Connected Age through a data-led, digital-first approach.”

Shoueiry further added: “Kamal has built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our team and expanding our scope of work. The current climate has accelerated digital transformation globally, and we are looking at a future where online and offline coexist to augment consumer experience in an interconnected brand universe. E-commerce is a necessity, digital equities are your flagship stores, search and social your new outdoor. With this new beginning, I will focus on further strengthening our creative strategy-to-results development to offer the best consumer-centric experiences and build brand value.”