On appeal, the Moroccan judiciary confirmed a harsh five-year prison sentence against independent journalist Slimane Raissouni, because of “sexual assault”a charge he denied throughout his trial. “This verdict is proof that we want revenge against Mr. Raissouni. We are very disappointed, and we expected that he would be acquitted in light of all the flaws revealed throughout the trial.Upon the exit of the Casablanca Court of Appeal, he announced that his lawyer, Mr.And the Miloud Kandil, Agence France-Presse. The journalist’s defense immediately decided to appeal in cassation after an eight-hour hearing.
As in the first instance, the prison sentence is accompanied by a compensation of 100,000 dirhams (about 9,500 euros) in favor of the plaintiff. Mr. Raissouni’s supporters welcomed the verdict – which filled the packed courtroom – with cries from ‘Unfair trial’. “Solomon is assured, we will continue to fight”they promised.
Mr Raissouni, a 49-year-old columnist known for his critical tone towards the authorities, has been accused of crimes“sexual assault” by a young LGBT activist, a charge he has always rejected in court, believing he is being tried “because of his opinions”. He was liable to a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Indecent assault He is liable to imprisonment from five to ten years.According to the Moroccan Penal Code.
“We are not satisfied despite the damages that have been confirmed. This amount cannot do justice to a person who was a victim of sexual assault.For his part, the civil party’s lawyer, Aisha Al-Kula, said.
The investigation was opened after a Facebook post in which the accused, under a false name, accused Mr. Raissouni of sexually assaulting him. The complaint was also based on a recorded conversation – but not broadcast during the trial – and an exchange of messages on the Messenger messaging system.
Before the court, the plaintiff repeated his version of the facts and explained that he had done so “They suffered psychological repercussions as a result of the assault.”. For his part, the former editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper and his lawyer have repeatedly criticized “Disadvantages” Folder. “This case is permeated with lies from the plaintiff. Throughout the legal proceedings, he contradicted himself.”keep Mr. Raissouni by enumerating these point by point “contradictions” in the pub. The prosecution considered that the evidence of the guilt of Mr. Raissouni was “indisputable”.
The journalist was arrested in May 2020, and did not attend most of his first instance trial – between February and July 2021 – due to a 122-day hunger strike. His support committee in Morocco criticized a lawsuit “political and vengeful”. Reporters Without Borders has called for the release of a journalist committed to defending press freedom, pending“fair trial”.
For the Moroccan authorities, Mr. Raissouni benefited from a trial ” Exhibition “ These lawsuits It has nothing to do with his journalistic work..
Two other Moroccan journalists, Omar Radi and Taoufik Bouachrine, were given heavy prison sentences for sexual assault, which they both denied. Mr. Radi, whose appeals trial is still ongoing, is also accused of a crime“spy”.
Morocco ranks 136And the Among 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. In another controversial measure, issued Wednesday, lawyer and former Human Rights Minister Mohamed Zayan was sentenced to three years in prison following a complaint filed against him by the Ministry of Interior. However, he was released.
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