Prince Moulay Hicham weighed in on the sentence given to Moroccan prominent journalist Taoufik Bouachrine, who was convicted of sexual assault and rape last week.
“We are deeply saddened about the absence of a fair trial in the case of journalist Taoufik Bouachrine,” the prince said.
He added that the lack of a “fair trial “missed an opportunity to establish truth in a judicial case that was mainly intended to protect Moroccan women.”
Bouachrine was arrested in February after several women journalists filed complaints against him for “sexual harassment, assault, human trafficking, attempted rape, and rape.”
Prince Moulay Hicham said that the absence of a fair trial in this case and the lack of “testimony [by] national and international human rights organizations, which are known for their credibility, lead automatically to the conclusion that there are national and Arab political motives behind the prosecution of a journalist, who was a nuisance because of his writings.”
The prince also questioned press freedom in the country, saying that the target, in this case, is “freedom of expression and independent press.”
For Moulay Hicham, Bouachrine’s case is “a new episode of an ongoing series” wherein we witness the “targeting [of] news outlets and journalists.” He added that some of those journalists who were jailed or exiled include Abou Baker El Jamii, Ali El Merabet, Ali Anzoula, Hamid El Mahdaoui, and others.
Moulay Hicham also criticized Morocco’s development model. He said that the recent cases come against the backdrop of the state’s admission that its development model has “failed.” “with the state acknowledgment of its failed development model.”