Raissouni’s defense lawyer claimed that the police violated the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) when it forced the journalist to undergo medical examinations.
Rabat – The defense team of Hajar Raissouni, the Moroccan journalist arrested for undergoing an illegal abortion and having sexual intercourse out of marriage, has stated that the police forcing Rassouni to undergo a medical examination against her will is tantamount to torture under the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT).
The journalist’s legal team said in a statement, obtained by the Arabic news outlet Alyaoum24, that they will file a complaint against the police, complying with the UNCAT that Morocco signed in 1986 and ratified in 1993.
“Hajar Rissouni condemns this political file through which the authorities want to punish her for articles on the Hirak Rif (Rif movement) and threatening her uncle Ahmed Raissouni, a human rights activist and journalist in the Arabic-speaking newspaper Akhbar al-Yawm.”
Raissouni’s lawyer Mohamed Sadkou accused the judicial police of Rabat of “breaching the international human rights treaty by torturing his client,” decrying the “inhumane, cruel, and degrading treatment that she was subject to.
According to Sadkou, the medical examination was against Raissouni’s will and is, therefore, considered as a “direct violation to her physical and moral integrity.”
He added that “the aim of the inhumane treatment is to exhaust the journalist to obtain the required confession, and that’s the definition of torture.”
Sadkou drew attention to the political side of the case, arguing that “Raissouni is a courageous journalist who dealt with hot topics that authorities want to silence.”
“We are facing a fake moral casefile because the real motive is political and the questions that were asked were not related to abortion. It is the independent journalism that is under attack here.”
Raissouni denies all the accusations. If convicted, she would face a two-year sentence.