The king of Morocco grants forgiveness to a journalist convicted of abortion and extramarital affairs

Mohamed VI, Rey de Marruecos

Mohamed VI, King of Morocco – REUTERS / YOUSSEF BOUDLAL – Archive


King Mohamed VI of Morocco has granted Wednesday the forgiveness of journalist Hayar Raisuni, sentenced to one year in prison for a crime of “illegal abortion” and “non-marital sex.”

The king of Morocco grants forgiveness to a journalist convicted of abortion and extramarital affairs
The king of Morocco grants forgiveness to a journalist convicted of abortion and extramarital affairs

The Ministry of Justice has detailed in a statement that forgiveness also affects the journalist's partner, Amin Refat, and the medical team judged in the case, as reported by the Moroccan state news agency, MAP.

“This royal grace falls within the framework of compassion and clemency recognized by the sovereign and the King's concern to preserve the future of the couple, who has founded a family according to religious precepts and the law, despite the error that they committed and for which the judicial case was opened, “he added.

The Rabat Court of First Instance sentenced the sentimental couple of Raisuni to one year in prison and two years in prison and 500 dirhams (about 46 euros) of fine to the doctor who performed the abortion, which will be unable to practice for two years.

Likewise, the doctor's assistant was sentenced to eight months of suspended prison and the anesthetist, to one year of suspended prison. The only case of abortion admitted in Morocco is that of risk to the mother, although only in the case that the husband agrees.

Raisuni works for the independent newspaper 'Ajbar al Yaum'. She was arrested on August 31 with her fiancé after leaving a doctor's office in Rabat. The doctor and two other people who worked at the clinic were also arrested for having performed an abortion.

The defense denounced during the trial that after being arrested, she was taken by the Police to the University Hospital of Rabat, where she suffered against her will and out of any legal procedure a second medical opinion intervention of an “extreme violence to make her confess” about acts of his private life without relation to the case.

For his part, the prosecutor denied the political nature of the case and has ensured that his detention and prosecution “has nothing to do with his profession.” “It is due to his visit to a clinic … and the information obtained by the judicial police about the usual practice of abortions in that place,” he said.

The journalist denied the charges and in a letter published by her newspaper on September 4 she said she was questioned about her ideas and political writings. Raisuni published in May a series of interviews with Ahmed Zefzafi, father of Naser Zefzafi, leader of the Hirak el Rif protest movement.

He has also published critical articles with the authorities and the director of the newspaper he works for, Taufik Buacrín, was sentenced to twelve years in prison for political crimes in November 2018. In addition, he claims that the authorities intend to intimidate his uncle, Suleimán Raisuni , Human Rights activist and journalist.

Raisuni was taken to a police station and on September 2 she was presented to the Prosecutor's Office and formally accused of maintaining relationships outside of marriage and “consenting to an abortion.”

The Rabat Prosecutor's Office revealed on September 5 the results of the medical expert tests, which is a “scandalous violation” of their privacy, and reported that the clinic was being monitored for these abortions.

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