first_img June 8, 2021 Find out more January 20, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News RSF_en News April 15, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Magazine journalist’s fixer released after a month in provisional custody Receive email alertscenter_img Mohammed Bouhcini, who was arrested on a trumped-up drug charge on 13 December after helping a magazine journalist research a report on drug-trafficking, was released on 13 January at the end of his period of provisional custodyThe investigating judge, who previously rejected three provisional release requests, has still not decided to close the case. Bouhcinin’s defence lawyer said Bouhcini could be detained again, in which case the judge would then have to decide whether to bring him to trial or drop charges.Bouhcini was arrested the day after he completed a week-long job acting as a guide for a journalist with Tel quel magazine who was writing a story on drug trafficking in the central Rif mountains. The grounds for his arrest were an allegation by a detainee in Ouezzane prison that he had supplied the detainee with drugs. The allegation was later retracted.—————————————–Morocco – 30 December 2004Police beat up one journalist, detain another in intimidation attemptsReporters Without Borders today condemned the severe beating that a reporter received from the police while covering a protest on 9 December in Rabat, and the imprisonment on trumped-up drug charges in mid-December of another journalist who helped research a report on drug-trafficking.Trying to intimidate journalists by means of violence or manipulation of the judicial system was totally unacceptable, the press freedom organisation said.Lahcen Aouad of the weekly Assahifa Al Ousbouia was assaulted by police while covering a march on parliament by unemployed high-school graduates demanding their “legitimate and legal right to work.” to go further Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News April 28, 2021 Find out more RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Organisation At first, he was repeatedly asked to show his press ID. Then he was insulted and threatened, and told to leave. Finally, while photographing demonstrators being beaten by police, he was himself kicked and beaten with batons. The police even tried to grab his camera. He received multiple contusions to the head and legs and has been told to take three weeks’ medical leave.Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the assault in order to identify and punish those responsible as soon as possible.Mohamed Bouhcini was targeted after acting as a guide for Chadwane Bensalmia of Tel quel magazine on a week-long trip to the central Rif mountains to research a story on drug trafficking. On 12 December, Bensalmia returned to the magazine’s office in Casablanca while Bouhcini returned to Ouezzane (about 220 km from Casablanca). The same day, he received anonymous calls on his mobile phone threatening him for helping Bensalmia.The next day, he was summoned to the chief superintendent’s office in Ouezzane where he was told a prisoner convicted on drug-trafficking charges had accused him of delivering hashish. Although the prison register showed Bouhcini had never set foot in the prison, he was incarcerated in the same prison and has been held there ever since without any complaint being brought against him.An exceptional aspect of the case is that it was the state prosecutor in person, Yassine Oumama, who asked that Bouhcini be brought before an investigating judge. Bouhcini could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison if convicted on the drug-trafficking charge. Three requests for his provisional release have been denied.Reached by telephone, Tel Quel editor Ahmed R. Benchemsi told Reporters Without Borders: “Mohammed Bouhcini’s imprisonment is a flagrant violation of the freedom to inform… Harassing journalists’ sources and contacts is a new way to intimidate them and prevent them from doing their work.”A number of Moroccan newspapers, including Al Ayyam, Al Ahdath Al Maghribiya and the Journal Hebdomadaire, have launched a solidarity movement calling for Bouhcini’s release.Reporters Without Borders calls on the Moroccan authorities to produce evidence of his guilt or otherwise order his immediate release. Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa last_img