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Morocco’s king pardons journalist jailed for ‘having abortion’

Morocco’s king Mohammed VI has pardoned a female journalist jailed for allegedly having an “illegal” abortion.

Hajar Raissouni, 28 was also accused of having sexual relations outside of her marriage and jailed for a year in September.

Her Sudanese fiance and gynaecologist have also been jailed one and two-years, respectively over the issue.

But an anaesthetist and medical assistance who were allegedly involved in carrying out the abortion were given suspended sentences of a year and eight months, respectively.

The justice ministry said on Wednesday that the king’s intervention in the case was “an act of compassion and mercy”.

The journalist was arrested on August 31 this year while leaving a clinic in the capital, Rabat.

According to her lawyer Saad Sahli, Raissouni said was undergoing treatment for internal bleeding during her arrest.

But prosecutors say she was rather undergoing a “late voluntary abortion”.

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni made a victory sign after leaving prison on Wednesday
Hajar Raissouni made a victory sign after leaving prison on Wednesday. Photo: EPA

“This trial had no foundation – the accusations were baseless,” defence lawyer Abdelmoula El Marouri said after the verdict.

Raissouni works for Akhbar Al-Yaoum – an Arabic daily with a history of run-ins with authorities.

She maintained that prosecutors had framed her for a crime she did not commit.

Raissouni was also sentenced under Article 490 of the legal code of Morocco. The law punishes sexual relations out of wedlock.


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