Morocco: journalist Soulaimane Raissouni sentenced to five years in prison

This Moroccan journalist had been in preventive detention since May 2020 for “sexual assault”. His supporters denounce a “political” trial.

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Moroccan justice sentenced, Friday, July 9, journalist Soulaimane Raissouni to five in prison for “sexual assault”, in his absence because he has been on hunger strike for 93 days.

Since May 2020, Raissouni, 49, has been in preventive detention following a complaint from an LGBT activist for “sexual assault”, facts that he disputes. His supporters denounce a “political trial”, while the complainant denies being “politically instrumentalized”.

His lawyers withdrew from the trial on Tuesday after the judge’s refusal of hospitalization “emergency” of the journalist. The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum – which has ceased to appear since March – has embarked on a hunger strike to demand provisional release. In Morocco and abroad, human rights defenders, intellectuals and political leaders are demanding that he be tried on bail.

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