“At one moment, I just gave up, I was destroyed.”
Rabat – Moroccan gynecologist Doctor Mohamed Jamal Belkziz expressed his relief at getting out of prison following a royal pardon, but also his sadness over the lack of support from his gynecologist colleagues.
Moroccan police arrested, the gynecologist on August 31. He faced charges of performing an illegal abortion on jouralist Hajar Raissouni. Having been sentenced to a prison sentence, King Mohammed VI granted Belkziz a royal pardon on Wednesday, October 16.
On September 30, Rabat’s court of first instance sentenced Dr. Belkziz to two years in prison and two years of ban from medical practices for illegal abortion.
In the same case, journalist Hajar Raissouni, her fiance, and the doctor’s medical team also faced prison sentences prison. On October 16, however, King Mohammed VI granted a royal pardon to all of the defendants.
“My dignity was destroyed, but the royal pardon gave it back to me. I thank the King for that,” said Belkziz in an interview.
The doctor, however, denounced the “injustice he was victim to.” He also regrets the lack of support from his colleagues and the national council of gynecologists.
“I chaired the national council of gynecologists for almost six years in Rabat. When cases like mine happened, we used to constitute an experts committee and present our scientific findings to the justice, even if they don’t ask for it,” said Belkziz.
“It’s shameful!” the doctor added while telling the media outlet that he practiced medicine for 40 years with altruism and honesty. “Never in my professional career have I been blamed by a patient,” he added.
Belkziz also talked about his suffering in prison: “At one moment, I just gave up, I was destroyed. Today, the royal pardon gave me back my strength.”
The doctor also promised to get back to his job: “I will continue my career, but for the moment, I need to rest and spend some time with my family who suffered a lot.”
Following Belkziz’s arrest, a number of doctors associations protested in the streets asking for his freedom, including cardiologists, endocrinologists, and gastroenterologists. The association of Moroccan gynecologists, however, did not participate in the manifestations.