In Morocco, press freedom groups are denouncing the jailing of Moroccan journalist Soulaimane Raissouni, the editor-in-chief of a now-defunct Moroccan newspaper. Raissouni last week was sentenced to five years in prison, accused of “indecent assault” against another man — a charge he’s denied and said was fabricated to intimidate him. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said he was “disappointed” by the sentencing.
For years Raissouni covered anti-government protests in Morocco and was also highly critical of the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Raissouni was arrested in May 2020. He’s been on hunger strike for over 90 days demanding his release. Raissouni is one of at least 10 Moroccan journalists who’ve been jailed in recent years, many of them accused of sex crimes. Click here to see our interview with another Moroccan journalist, still jailed, Omar Radi.