In Morocco, authorities arrested journalist Omar Radi Wednesday on what press freedom advocates call
“retaliatory charges.” Radi reported on the role of the Moroccan state and big business in dispossessing farmers of their tribal lands. He has spoken out about facing harassment and surveillance.
An Amnesty International report alleges authorities hacked Radi’s phone using Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group. Now a court has charged Radi with undermining state security by receiving foreign funding and collaborating with foreign intelligence, and also charged him with rape.
The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement that “Moroccan authorities in the past have plainly tried to make any charge against him stick in retaliation for his work as a journalist,” and called on them to “release Radi [and] investigate any sexual assault charges in a credible and transparent manner.” Radi spoke to Democracy Now! before his arrest.
Omar Radi: “I stopped cooperating with the police because they’re asking empty questions and questions that don’t respect the presumption of innocence. So I’m not playing this game. If they have something, they just arrest me and send me to the prosecutor and then to trial, but I’m not playing this Q&A game with the police, that just want me to confess that I was something I never was.”
Radi’s lawyers deny all the charges against him. He is reportedly being held in a prison in Casablanca that is a COVID hot spot. Click here for our full interview with Omar Radi.