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IWMF condemns the imprisonment of Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni

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The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), an organization working internationally to elevate the status of women in the media, condemned, Thursday, the imprisonment of Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni, sentenced in September to one year in prison on charges of «premarital sex and obtaining an abortion».

In a press release, the Washington-based nonprofit organization wrote that «despite the charges, human rights observers believe Raissouni was targeted in an attempt to suppress critical coverage of government authorities».

Referring to the imprisonment of the Akhbar Al Yaoum journalist as «an alarming violation of press freedom», IWMF reported that «Raissouni appeared on the One Free Press Coalition’s October list of the 10 most urgent freedom cases, curated by IWMF and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and compiled by Forbes».

«Gendered charges, such as the ones leveled against Hajar Raissouni, are often used to silence female journalists», argued IWMF, calling on «Moroccan authorities to drop all charges against Raissouni and her fiancé, and to cease attacks against journalists in the Kingdom».

For the record, Hajar Raissouni was arrested on August 31 in front of her gynecologist’s clinic. Her fiancé, doctor and his assistants were also jailed and sentenced.

The journalist denied all accusations, saying that she did not undergo an abortion and that she is married to her fiancé under Islamic law.

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