Rabat’s Court of First Instance decided not to grant a temporary release to Hajar Raissouni, accused of illegal abortion and premarital sexual relations.
Rabat – Following deliberations, this Thursday, September 19, the Court of First Instance in Rabat decided to refuse Hajar Raissouni’s request for temporary release, as reported by several Moroccan news outlets.
The Court justified its decision to keep Raissouni in detention on the gravity of the charges against the young journalist, as well as the insufficiency of guarantees presented for her possible release.
The trial is expected to resume on Monday, September 23. The court intends to examine the requests for “defects of form” presented by Raissouni’s defense team.
Raissouni’s lawyer Saad Sahli, present in court, denied the court’s decision, saying that “the hearing will not start before 2 PM and the court has not yet decided on the request of the defense of my client.”
“We are waiting like everyone else for the outcome of the deliberations. I do not know where they are holding this information,” he told Moroccan news outlet H24.
The 28-year old journalist, who writes for the Arabic-speaking daily Akhbar Al Yaoum, faces up to two years imprisonment. Morocco’s penal code incriminates both sex outside marriage and abortion without imminent danger to the mother’s life.
Police arrested Raissouni in Rabat on August 31. They also arrested her Sudanese fiancé, the gynecologist who oversaw the alleged abortion, a nurse, and a secretary. All defendants stood court at the same time.