In an investigative article exposing the authorities’ “sexual strategy” to target Moroccan critics, exiled media activist Hicham Mansouri wrote that “secret services exert an increasingly strong hold on political life, by manipulating media specialized in lies and defamation.” “[These media] frequently attack critics and announce their imminent arrest,” a person who was targeted told Human Rights Watch. The URL of the deleted article still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” But the article itself has been wiped clean, leaving only a “Page No Longer Available” message. The documents he manages to obtain show that very expensive land was offered free of charge to personalities close to the Moroccan authorities. The journalist said what he had with Boutahar, who worked with him at news outlet Le Desk, was a … The woman, Radi, and a third employee of Le Desk, Imad Stitou, a journalist, had been invited to stay for the night, and each was assigned a separate couch to sleep on in a large living room on the ground floor. Morocco has a history of arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning independent journalists, activists, or politicians on questionable charges of sex outside of wedlock or sexual assault. Radi’s work for these firms, along with his contacts with the Netherlands Embassy, form the basis for the accusation that he harmed “external security” under the Penal Code article 191. In a statement published on Facebook, Radi said that Alaoui had been harassing him each time he entered or left Casablanca’s judicial police headquarters, where he was interrogated. In May 2015, a court in Rabat sentenced Hicham Mansouri, a media freedom activist, and a female co-defendant to 10 months in prison for adultery. Journalist and activist Omar Radi waits outside the court in Casablanca, Morocco, March 12, 2020. They face up to six months in prison if convicted. These cookies do not store any personal information. On September 2, Radi’s lawyers requested that their client be released provisionally pending trial.   … Amnesty International published a report on June 22 in which it alleges that Moroccan security services used Israeli software to spy on Radi. The outlets suggested the American media giant may be unsure of the veracity of the Amnesty International report. Other journalists of Akhbar Al Yaoum have been jailed on sexual misconduct charges. Some of these trials have been widely denounced as politically motivated and failing to guarantee due process for all parties. still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” But the article itself has been wiped clean, leaving only a “Page No Longer Available” message. Regarding the allegation that the prosecution of Omar Radi is motivated by his critical views of the government: You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. No violence occurred, said the witnesses. Morocco World News contacted the New York Times for comment on the reason for the article’s removal. Radi and his accuser agree that they had a sexual encounter in that living room at around 2 a.m. on July 13. The Bertha Foundation The detention, trial and conviction are part of Morocco’s policy of persecuting dissidents, Amnesty says. Chouf TV, Barlamane, and Le360 are part of what a collective of 110 Moroccan journalists denounced on July 16 as “Slander Media,” a group of websites “whose editorial line consists in attacking voices that bother those in power.” And its leaders were asking for hospitals, jobs, job opportunities and public services. Omar Radi told Morocco World News on June 23 that he was involved in the making of the report. The prosecutor recommended charging Radi under Penal Code article 206, which punishes “harming the domestic security of the State by receiving from a foreign organization any form of gift, present or benefit destined to remunerate in Morocco an activity or propaganda that aims to […] shake the loyalty due by the citizens to the State and the institutions of the Moroccan people.” The penalty is up to five years in prison. Just business as usual . local outlets such as Barlamane and Chouf TV as “proxies” of Moroccan authorities after they published reports on the retracted article. According to leaks of his judicial file, the prosecutor and the police apparently contend that Radi, in his exchanges with Dutch diplomats, provided information about the Rif unrest for Dutch officials to use in public statements aimed at harming Morocco’s diplomatic situation. Mansouri, Al Miraat, and Ait Aicha fled Morocco after what they described as a campaign of state harassment. He faces up to one year in prison if convicted. Charges of Indecent Assault and Rape Radi, who has been in Oukacha Prison, in Casablanca, since his arrest on July 29, will appear before an investigative judge on September 22 on accusations of “harming the external security of the State by sharing intelligence with foreign agents in order to undermine Morocco’s diplomatic situation,” “harming the domestic security of the State by receiving foreign funds in order to undermine the citizens’ loyalty to Moroccan institutions,” “indecent assault with violence,” rape, violating Morocco’s general tax code, and tax evasion. During this period, a judge approved a prosecutor’s request to tap Radi’s phone. Monjib, who stayed in Morocco, has been attacked and insulted repeatedly by websites close to security services. Omar Radi investigative journalist and human rights activist has been the subject of a violent campaign of intimidation by the Moroccan authorities. “Morocco has a long history of prosecuting peaceful critics on criminal charges, but the prosecutorial pile-on against Omar Radi takes the cake,” Goldstein said. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International (AI) … Driss Radi, Omar’s father, told Human Rights Watch that the intense police scrutiny and fierce defamation campaign were akin to “psychological torture” for his son, and provided a psychiatrist’s note, dated July 28, certifying that Omar’s mental health mandated an “absence from work” for 30 days, effective immediately. The spyware technology is the same as that described in a leaked document from 2015 linked to Israeli’s NSO Group, the report continues. Providing information to foreign governments or entities can constitute a recognizable criminal offense, depending on the nature of the information and the recipient and the intent of the provider. Moroccan journalists Omar Radi and Soulaiman Raissouni to start hunger strike on the Human Rights Day. The three men exchanged words while filming one another with their mobile phones. On July 2, a communique read by the Moroccan government’s spokesman at a news conference after a government meeting announced that Radi was “subjected to a judiciary investigation for presumably harming State security because of his connection with an intelligence agent of a foreign country.” The official statement set the tone for a months-long campaign of defamation of Radi on websites reportedly tied with Moroccan security services. “Bringing apparently bogus charges against critical journalists is now clearly part of the Moroccan government’s playbook for stifling dissent,” said Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. Seven. Omar Radi, 33, is due to be tried on January 2, 2020 for allegedly insulting a judge who imposed heavy penalties on protesters from the Rif region. On at least one occasion, Chouf TV correctly alluded to the future date of arrest of a journalist who was still free. Moroccan authorities furiously denied the accusation, even though a court had in late 2017 approved the tapping of Radi’s phone. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi. Voir mon tweet ci dessous https://t.co/aDx8yDOx1i https://t.co/EGKu3xcPQb. Radi, 34, in jail since July 29, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. An article published on July 15 by the news site Le Desk, for which Radi works, says that a British economic consulting company contracted Radi in July 2018 as a local risk assessment consultant. What was Omar Radi working on for the Bertha Challenge? Prior to arresting him, the police also questioned Radi over bank and cash transfers he received from outside Morocco as payment for various jobs, including for freelance articles for foreign media. Beginning on June 26, 2020, the judicial police, gendarmerie, and prosecutors summoned Radi for 12 interrogation sessions of six to nine hours each about multiple accusations, including allegedly providing “espionage services” to foreign governments, firms, and organizations. Moroccan journalist Omar Radi has been accused of alleged «rape and sexual assault». The appeals verdict is expected on September 23. Barlamane also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions. The case against Radi apparently includes an accusation that he failed to declare these amounts to fiscal authorities. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Charges of Public Drunkenness, Violence, Insults In a separate case, Radi will appear before a judge on September 24 on charges of “manifest public drunkenness,” violence, and insults, and risks up to six months in prison. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Join our movement today. A quick search of the New York Times archives will yield scores of, several years. The case was possibly motivated by Raissouni’s family ties with high-profile dissidents, and her journalistic work at Akhbar Al Yaoum, a daily newspaper that authorities have targeted repeatedly for its independent reporting and commentary. These cases take place in a context in which Moroccan women typically face barriers to reporting sexual violence and pursuing redress, including where they can find themselves prosecuted for sex outside of marriage if their claim of rape is not believed, and in which conviction rates are low. Under police interrogation, Radi insisted that his discussions with the diplomat were routine conversations about news developments in Morocco, including the Rif events. Media close to the security services that specialize in maligning critics published numerous articles insulting Radi, his parents, friends, and supporters; disclosing alleged details of his private life; and correctly forecasting the date of his arrest. Omar Radi is the only one to have disclosed elements of the investigations, in an obvious attempt to maintain the misleading perception of an alleged “judicial harassment” against him. Morocco World News investigated this theory. I think they have no evidence against me and this is an empty case. The police and the prosecutor apparently concluded that Radi’s services were not an innocent consultancy, but rather espionage. Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. New York, July 2, 2020–Moroccan authorities must immediately stop harassing Omar Radi, investigative journalist at the news website Le Desk, and allow him to work and travel freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.. The “Slander Media” “The authorities should drop all unfounded charges against him, release him pending trial, and guarantee fair and transparent proceedings for him and all parties in court.” Omar Radi works with Moroccan news outlet Le Desk, which claimed Thursday that the New York Times regularly deletes articles published through other outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press. The information included banking and property records, screenshots of private electronic conversations, allegations about sexual relationships (or oblique threats to expose them), identities of roommates, and biographical details, sometimes as far back as their childhood, complete with information on the parents of the targeted individuals. Two months earlier, a leading member of the Islamist opposition Justice and Benevolence (Al Adl wa’l Ihsan) movement, El-Mostafa Erriq, and a woman he was visiting were arrested and detained for three days. 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On September 3, the investigative judge rejected the motion to release him on the grounds that “the acts [for which Radi is prosecuted] are dangerous, the investigation is still at its beginning, (and) releasing [Radi] could obstruct investigative proceedings,” the defense told Human Rights Watch. This case stems from a spat that Radi and Sitou had with Karim Alaoui, a cameraman of Chouf TV, a Moroccan online website reportedly tied with security services, outside a pub in Casablanca on July 5. However, NYT’s article sourcing procedures do not discount allegations from several sources of Amnesty International’s bias against Morocco. Radi was placed under pretrial detention on July 29 by the investigative judge who justified this measure on the basis of “the danger of the criminal acts, the harm to public order, and the presence of evidence,” Radi’s lawyers told Human Rights Watch. Blind Trust in Amnesty International, a Blank Check for Waging War. Omar Radi and Imad Stitou, his colleague at the investigative online publication Le Desk, were arrested minutes after leaving a nightclub in Casablanca, … Chouf TV was mentioned as part of the “Slander Media,” a group of websites reportedly tied with security services that was denounced on July 16 by a collective of 110 Moroccan journalists for bombarding dissidents with “defamation, insults and calumny” each time the authorities placed them under investigation. Freelance Moroccan journalist Aida Alami responded to these reports on Twitter, calling them “fake news.”. Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808. Omar Radi’s case benefits those fixated on demonizing Morocco and haughtily dismissing all the progress the country has made in recent years. “ The article shows the number of times the Moroccan police summoned the journalist for questioning, describing his prosecution and detention as part of a “repressive machine targeting Radi”. The police arrested Radi and Stitou, while letting Alaoui free. They added that a police van, which was apparently stationed in an adjacent street, appeared less than a minute after the spat started. Based on police findings, the prosecutor contends that Radi’s activities violate Morocco’s Penal Code article 191 by “harming external state security by maintaining an intelligence relationship with agents of a foreign authority with the purpose or effect to harm the diplomatic situation of Morocco.” Radi’s activities, the prosecutor contends, also warrant charges under article 206 of “harming state internal security by receiving remuneration from a foreign entity for an activity or propaganda that could shake the loyalty that citizens owe to the state and the institutions of the Moroccan people.” The journalist is known for criticizing human rights violations in the country.