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Morocco: Calls for release of journalist 'held' over alleged abortion

Moroccan journalist Hajar Rissouni [al3omkcom/Twitter]
Moroccan journalist Hajar Rissouni [al3omkcom/Twitter]

Moroccan associations have announced their solidarity with a journalist arrested by the authorities after she allegedly had an abortion.

This came in statements issued by Moroccan non-governmental organisations following the arrest of journalist Hajar Rissouni, a few days before her scheduled marriage.

Moroccan activists launched the Arabic hashtag "Freedom for Hajer" calling for her release, especially after an official document issued by a state-run hospital in Rabat confirmed that she had "not undergone an abortion".

In separate statements, the National Syndicate of Moroccan Press, Moroccan Forum for Young Journalists and the Moroccan Association for Citizenship and Human Rights condemned the arrest and defamation of Rissouni and demanded her immediate release.

READ: Morocco adopts law criminalising harassment against women

Prince Moulay Hicham, first cousin of Moroccan King Mohammed VI said that Hajar was subjected to a gross assault. She was accused of abortion although she was officially acquitted by a medical report required by the judiciary.

This, he added on Facebook, was a serious situation and an attack on Rissouni's constitutional rights.

"This absurdity should be stopped," said Moroccan journalist Mohamed Bekkali, in a post on Facebook. "Release Hajar and also the press in the country."

Rissouni was arrested on Saturday and appeared before the Public Prosecution along with her fiancé, aSudanese university professor. They were due to be married on 14 September.

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