“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention does not have the authority to monitor countries’ compliance with international conventions and its reports are not binding,” said Morocco.
Rabat – The legal adviser to the Moroccan permanent mission at the UN has dismissively reacted to a report issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the case of detained Moroccan journalist Taoufik Bouachrine, who was convicted of human trafficking, rape with violence, and sexual assault.
According to the statement of the adviser, a copy of which Morocco World News has viewed, the working group’s report includes opinions and observations which don’t have a binding aspect.
The UN body’s report called for the “immediate” release of Bouachrine. The report also called on Morocco to compensate Bouachrine, asking the Moroccan authorities to give him guarantee of non-repetition.
In response, Morocco’s legal adviser recalled that several other countries, such as Spain and Australia, have rejected similar findings in the past.
According to the Moroccan adviser, the findings of the working group, were not backed with solid evidence, and sometimes relied on details to incite public opinion against governments.
The Moroccan officials further slammed the findings of the report, pointing out that the working group “intervenes even in cases that are still before courts.”
A Moroccan court handed Bouachrine a sentence of 12 years in November 208.
During his final trial, Bouachrine said he was a victim of an assault on freedom of expression.
Bouachrine was arrested in February 2018 after a group of former female employees at Akhbar Al Yaoum, the newspaper he founded, accused him of sexual assault and rape.