RSF calls for release of three journalists on Mohamed VI anniversary

RSF calls for release of three journalists on Mohamed VI anniversary

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) took advantage of the anniversary of the 23 years in power of Morocco’s King Mohamed VI to demand the release of three journalists imprisoned in the North African country.

The Paris-based organization issued a statement on the day of what is known as the Feast of the Throne, when the monarch pardons hundreds of convicts, to remember that the three informants are in prison for their “independent and critical” work that displeases the Moroccan authorities.

Tawfiq Buachrín, director of the daily Ajbar al Yawm -the last remaining critic in Morocco, which had to close due to financial suffocation-, saw his 15-year sentence for rape and human trafficking confirmed in 2021.

Buachrín denies these accusations and attributes these charges to the cartoons he had published in 2009 of the royal family and the flag of Morocco for which he was sued, as well as critical articles from 2015 and 2018.

Suleiman Raisuni, editor-in-chief of Ajbar al Yawm and especially acid in his writings, is serving a five-year prison sentence for the crime of “indecent assault and retention against his will” of a young Moroccan homosexual in 2018, after the victim, Adel A., remained silent for two years and decided to file a complaint some time later.

Omar Radi, a journalist for the Francophone news portal LeDesk, is serving a six-year prison sentence accused of rape and espionage, both accusations also unfounded, according to the NGOs.

Morocco is ranked 135th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2022 press freedom scale.

Melissa Galbraith
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