A young man claimed Raissouni assaulted him in 2018.
Rabat – Casablanca police arrested on May 22 Slimane Raissouni, the editor-in-chief of the daily Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Alyaoum, and put him in custody for further investigation.
Raissouni’s wife told Alyaoum24 her husband did not receive any notice before the arrest. The exact charges against Raissouni remain unknown, but some media outlets have linked the arrest with an assault allegation.
According to various local reports, a young man claimed Raissouni assaulted him in 2018 while the pair were working on an art piece at the editor-in-chief’s home in Casablanca.
Under the pseudonym Adam Muhammad, the alleged victim shared his story on social media. He identified himself as a member of the Moroccan LGBT community and said he feared making the report of his assault public due to the controversy surrounding homosexuality in Morocco.
Article 489 of Morocco’s penal code criminalizes same-sex relations, and offenders can face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to MAD 1,200 ($120).
Slimane Raissouni took on the position as editor-in-chief of the Akhbar Alyaoum newspaper after police arrested its founder, Toufiq Bouachrine, in 2018. A Casablanca court sentenced Bouachrine to 12 years in prison in November 2018 and prosecutors lengthened his sentence to 15 years in October 2019.
Raissouni is known for his activism with the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).
He is also a relative of Akhbar Alyaoum journalist Hajar Raissouni, whose arrest on charges of illegal abortion and sex outside of marriage made international headlines from September to December 2019.
King Mohammed VI granted the journalist and her fiance a royal pardon on October 16. Hajar Raissouni had received a one-year prison sentence for her alleged crimes, and her case sparked a nationwide debate on sexual freedoms and bodily autonomy in Morocco.