In a recent video, RSF claimed that Moroccan authorities use methods to “smear journalists” and critics.
Rabat – The Communication Department at the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports has slammed a video report on Morocco by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
RSF published a video on its social media, listing journalists who are facing different charges, and accusing Moroccan intelligence services of using “these methods to smear journalists and discourage their supporters.”
In response, the communication department at the Moroccan culture ministry described RSF’s allegations as “unjustified attacks” and “slanderous assertions.”
For the departement, the RSF released the video to attack and undermine Morocco’s institutions through false allegations.
In its video report, RSF mentioned the case of journalist Taoufiq Bouachrine, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for “human trafficking and rape.”
Police arrested Bouachrine in Februay 2018 on charges of rape and sexual assault against several female journalists working at the Arabic language newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum. RSF also mentioned the case of Hajar Raissouni, a Moroccan journalist who was put in jail in 2019 for “illegal abortion and premarital sexual reasons.”
A court sentenced her for a year in prison before King Mohammed VI ordered a royal pardon for the journalist.
The communication department said that RSF refers to the case of journalists on which the “Moroccan judiciary has given final ruling as part of fair trials that led either to their conviction or to their release after having benefited from a Royal Pardon.”
Moroccan authorities believe that RSF pretends to ignore that the status of journalist does not “confer any judicial immunity” that would allow journalists to enjoy a special status which places them above the law.
“It is up to justice only to decide independently on the grievances they are subject to,” RSF said.
The department concluded its statement by condemning RSF’s biased data and its decision to deny alleged victims of sexual abuse their fundemntal right to take legal action agains their alleged aggressors.
RSF also referred to the case of Omar Radi, who is in custody and facing alleged rape charges and for “receifing funds from suspicious sources.”
Several rights NGOs undermined the alleged rape victim’s right to take her case to the court, questining her motives.
Hafsa Boutahar, the alleged victim, worked with Omar Radi at Le Desk, a news outlet in Morocco.
She filed a complaint against Radi, accusing him of “violent rape.”
On July 29 of last year, an investigating judge decided to imprison Radi pending investigations. Hafsa Boutahar claimed that Radi allegedly raped her in their bosses’ house.
Radi continues to deny all charges against him, saying that he and the complainant were in complete agreement regarding the “sexual relationship.”