Rabat – Ten days after the arrest of Moroccan journalist Taoufik Bouachrine, the administration of Casablanca’s Ain Borja prison said that the inspection applied in the case of Bouachrine is a measure applicable for all individuals during the prison registration or incarceration process.
The communiqé of the administration came a few days after Bouachrine, who is facing charges for his alleged sexual misconduct, released a statement from the prison claiming that his arrest was a “conspiracy.”
Bouachrine, as quoted by one of his lawyers, stated that the Moroccan judicial police “did not operate in accordance with the law and legality throughout their inspection.”
But in a response statement quoted by the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), Casablanca’s prison administration said that “the fact of not carrying out this search constitutes a violation of the professional duty by the officials.”
The statement added that prison officials are obliged to apply this measure to comply with legal regulations “in order to preserve the dignity of prisoners.”
Various Moroccan media reported earlier this week that prison officials did not allow Bouachrine to sign certain documents.
These allegations, according to the Ain Borja prison statement, “are completely baseless” and that document control procedure resulted in the discovery of two documents that were not on the list of documents whose signatures were authorized by the Public Prosecutor.
According to the statement, which was reported by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Bouachrine has benefited since his detention from medical treatment and medical examinations and prescribed drugs “which are currently in his cell.” The communiqué added that the detained journalist has not filed a complaint regarding this matter.
“The allegations made by some lawyers of the detainee, will not deter the administration of the institution to enforce the law against all prisoners without distinction,” concluded the statement.
Bouachrine was arrested on February 24, at the headquarters of Akhbar Al Yaoum.
He is facing several charges, including human trafficking, the exploitation of people in need, and the abuse of power for sexual purposes. Bouachrine is also suspected of other crimes, including violent rape and attempted rape. The communiqué added that there are nearly 50 tapes of sexual assault incidents recorded on a hard disk and a digital video recorder.
The public prosecutor of Casablanca’s Court of Appeal has reportedly received eight new complaints from eight victims alleging additional claims of sexual assault against the journalist.
Bouachrine will be presented before the court in Casablanca on March 8.