The arrest of the journalist has proved divisive between activists, citizens, and supporters of the man who spoke out.
Rabat – The Investigating judge at the Court of Appeals in Casablanca ordered the detention of Slimane Raissouni, editor-in-chief of Moroccan newspaper Akhbar al Yaoum on Monday, May 25.
The investigating judge decided to put the journalist in jail until his trial on charges of “violent indecent assault and detention.”
Al Yaoum 24, the online version of Akhbar Al Yaoum, reported that Raissouni will appear in court on June 11.
Police in Casablanca arrested the journalist on May 22 after a young man claimed Raissouni assaulted him in 2018.
Adam Muhammed, a member of the Moroccan LGBT community, said on social media that the Akhbar al Yaoum editor sexually assaulted him in 2018. The man, however, delayed speaking out about it, claiming he was afraid of the repercussions.
Same-sex relations are also forbidden in Islam, making the issue more controversial and in contradiction of Islamic ethics and values.
The arrest of Raissouni generated a wave of criticism because of his link to Akhbar Al Yaoum. Two prominent court cases in 2018 and 2019 targeted two other journalists of the daily, including the founder of the paper, Taoufiq Bouachrine.
Raissouni became editor-in-chief of the newspaper after police arrested Bouachrine in 2018.
Bouachrine is serving a prison sentence of 15 years after the courts convicted him of raping colleagues and other crimes like human trafficking.
Police also arrested journalist Hajar Raissouni, Slimane’s niece, last year on charges of abortion and sex outside marriage. After a court convicted her, however, she received a royal pardon.
The arrest of three journalists from the same newspaper generated criticism from activists, who believe the arrests are questionable.
Other online commenters believe an investigation must determine if Adam Muhammed’s story is true, and Raissouni’s supporters could be defending a sexual predator.
It remains to be seen whether evidence will prove the charges against Raissouni.