Charges of Public Drunkenness, Violence, Insults But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. 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. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Alleging that Morocco has previously used NSO technology against Moroccan human rights activist Matti Monjib, Amnesty International concludes that the government mobilized the “cyber-spying attacks” against Radi using a “sophisticated new technique.”. Le Desk slammed local outlets such as Barlamane and Chouf TV as “proxies” of Moroccan authorities after they published reports on the retracted article. The outlets suggested the American media giant may be unsure of the veracity of the Amnesty International report. All sexual assault complaints merit serious investigation, and punishment when the evidence proves guilt. The testimony Stitou later provided to the gendarmerie was consistent with Radi’s account, as the accuser herself acknowledged in an interview. Mansouri, Al Miraat, and Ait Aicha fled Morocco after what they described as a campaign of state harassment. They added that a police van, which was apparently stationed in an adjacent street, appeared less than a minute after the spat started. The total amount of these payments, between 2012 and 2020, amounted to about $15,000. The articles often included vulgar insults and personal information. 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. The prosecutor’s case against Radi is apparently based on text exchanges he had with a foreign diplomat, contracts he signed with foreign corporate consulting firms to conduct research inside Morocco, and journalistic research he received a grant to conduct on the social impact of collective land expropriations. In May 2020, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Souleiman Raissouni, was arrested under suspicion of sexually assaulting a man. In an op-ed she published in the Washington Post, Afaf Bernani, a woman who worked for Bouachrine’s newspaper, said she fled to Tunisia in 2019 after she was sentenced to six months in jail in Morocco. The journalist replied that he simply written an article about “the financial situation of a private Moroccan company” for a consultancy firm that “currently has a British Foreign Office pensioner on staff, who left in 2011.” in which it alleges that Moroccan security services used Israeli software to spy on Radi. The column defends Radi’s case with an article under the headline “Stop the Hate Omar Radi and the repression of public discourse in Morocco. “Articles written by Reuters or the Associated Press do not remain on the [New York Times] site [for] more than a limited time. Morocco is one of the customers of NSO,” he insisted. Sex Offense Cases in a Politicized Context His accuser, who has stepped forward publicly, has a right to be heard and respected, and, like Radi, a right to fair judicial proceedings. Such broadly worded offenses are so open to arbitrary interpretation by judges that a person cannot reasonably predict what acts will be considered crimes, Human Rights Watch said. 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. The human rights NGO says its analysis of Radi’s cell phone showed that malware infected the device using a “network injection.” This allegedly occurred while the phone was connected to the internet through an LTE/4G mobile connection on January 27, February 11, and September 13, 2019. Moroccan journalist Omar Radi has been accused of alleged «rape and sexual assault». Omar Radi himself has been part of this investigation, which calls into question the authenticity of evidence provided to investigators. 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. In the past few years, hundreds of other articles were published in those websites and others with comparable editorial lines, attacking Moroccan journalists, activists, and artists critical of the authorities. also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions. The same investigating judge will examine all of these charges. The documents he manages to obtain show that very expensive land was offered free of charge to personalities close to the Moroccan authorities. Seven. The charges of espionage and harming state security appear to be based on no evidence that Radi did anything besides conduct ordinary journalistic or corporate due diligence work and maintain contact with diplomats, as many journalists and researchers do routinely. Raissouni, her fiancé, and the doctor were freed on October 16 after receiving a royal pardon. Freelance Moroccan journalist Aida Alami responded to these reports on Twitter, calling them “fake news.”. Join our movement today. Muzzling Journalists: Morocco and Algeria Can Agree on That, Morocco: Crackdown on Social Media Critics, Morocco: Free Outspoken Journalist Jailed Over Tweet, Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response, Saudi Arabia: Migrants Held in Inhuman, Degrading Conditions, Armenia: Cluster Munitions Used in Multiple Attacks on Azerbaijan, Despite Prime Minister’s Promises, Disappearances Continue in Iraq, communique read by the Moroccan government’s spokesman, seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, judicial harassment attributable to nothing other than his investigative journalism, statement she gave to the police was forged, correctly alluded to the future date of arrest. The outlet also has individual sections on its website dedicated to recent, According to Dudding, only agency-sourced articles that appear in NYT’s print newspaper remain on their website long-term “as part of our record.” He added that “you can tell if an article appeared in print at the bottom of the page.”. Such examinations, when performed without consent, amount to cruel and degrading treatment under international human rights standards. The police arrested him the next day. A prosecutor publicly disclosed deeply personal details about her sexual and reproductive life, based on a gynecological exam performed on Raissouni without her consent while she was in detention. Get updates on human rights issues from around the globe. One of those reports, which disclosed details of the police investigation on Radi, was briefly available online and then deleted. 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. Radi, an award-winning investigative journalist and human rights activist, has published articles about land grabs by speculators and corruption of officials, and collaborated with various Moroccan and international media as a correspondent or stringer. The messages included apparently nothing more than arrangements to set up meetings between the two men. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International (AI) … These cookies do not store any personal information. On at least one occasion, Chouf TV correctly alluded to the future date of arrest of a journalist who was still free. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Blind Trust in Amnesty International, a Blank Check for Waging War. 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. The Embassy of the Netherlands in Morocco 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. 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.. In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said Amnesty International failed to be neutral and objective in the June 22 report. Radi received the equivalent of about USD1,500 for the job. According to Dudding, only agency-sourced articles that appear in NYT’s print newspaper remain on their website long-term “as part of our record.” He added that “you can tell if an article appeared in print at the bottom of the page.” A review of the New York Times archives supports this assertion. The June 22 publication alleged that the government … Tax evasion in Morocco is punished by fines, except in cases of repeat offenses, which carry short prison sentences. He claims the sexual encounter, which happened 10 days earlier, was consensual. Radi and his accuser agree that they had a sexual encounter in that living room at around 2 a.m. on July 13. Moreover, accusations such as “harming [a nation’s] diplomatic position” and “undermining loyalty to State institutions” are too vague, and risk criminalization of lawful activities, including free expression. Radi’s name featured in a recent report from Amnesty International.   Two witnesses to the incident told Human Rights Watch that Alaoui had been waiting outside the pub for hours while Radi was inside, and started filming him the minute he and Stitou walked out, around 11 p.m. “The attacks occurred over a period when Radi was being repeatedly harassed by the Moroccan authorities, with one attack taking place just days after NSO pledged to stop its products being used in human rights abuses and continued until at least January 2020,” Amnesty said. The trial was repeatedly postponed and is still pending. The same apparently applies to Radi’s consultancy for another British firm on Morocco’s agriculture sector, for which he earned the equivalent of about USD450. Morocco has in the recent past jailed other prominent journalists on charges unrelated to their work, along with several internet commentators, activists, and artists sentenced over speech offenses in social media. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. On September 2, Radi’s lawyers requested that their client be released provisionally pending trial. 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. The defense challenged that decision on September 2, arguing that pretrial detention should be reserved for exceptional cases, referencing Morocco’s Constitution, domestic laws, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Voir mon tweet ci dessous https://t.co/aDx8yDOx1i https://t.co/EGKu3xcPQb. 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. In June, Amnesty International reported that Radi’s smartphone had been penetrated by potent spyware that its developer said it sells only to governments. During this period, a judge approved a prosecutor’s request to tap Radi’s phone. Le Desk used the same language against the media outlets reporting on the deleted article and based its claims on Aida’s tweets. A quick search of the New York Times archives will yield scores of undeleted reports by Reuters and the Associated Press dating back several years. with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said Amnesty International failed to be neutral and objective in the June 22 report. Human Rights Watch obtained a PDF version of it. “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.” The spyware technology is the same as that described in a leaked document from 2015 linked to Israeli’s NSO Group, the report continues. New York Times Removal of Amnesty International Article Sparks Debate, Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a. article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International (AI) published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi. Omar describes how reporting in Morocco is becoming more difficult. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Barlamane also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions. Alaoui was charged with the last two of these charges. Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808. According to the press close to power, this mission would in fact have had the purpose of “Arouse a feeling of social injustice among Moroccan citizens “ for’ “Undermine loyalty to national institutions”. Human Rights Watch interviewed Radi before he was arrested, as well as his father, his 2 lawyers, 3 of his colleagues, 4 witnesses in 2 of the incidents for which he is being prosecuted, and several members of his support committee. She stated that her case is unlike Bernani’s, and that she is a victim of sexual violence who came forward on her own. Radi and Stitou were charged with public drunkenness, violence, insults, and filming a person without their authorization. Amnesty International has failed to meet these requests. In the absence of a substantive justification of his pretrial detention, Radi should be released immediately, pending trial, Human Rights Watch said. Ce n’était pas un article écrit ou signé par qqn du @nytimes. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Charges of Espionage and Harming State Security Radi is a freelance investigative journalist who writes primarily for Le Desk and is a member of the ICIJ journalism consortium. Omar Radi was released … The police arrested Radi and Stitou, while letting Alaoui free. Radi says the article contained details taken from conversations he had on the encrypted apps Signal and WhatsApp, and he suspects government intelligence officers … Moroccan journalists Omar Radi and Soulaiman Raissouni to start hunger strike on the Human Rights Day. The removal led some Moroccan outlets to suggest NYT’s editorial board had doubts about Amnesty International’s claims, but an NYT representative’s response suggests otherwise. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International (AI) published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi. “You are a propagator of fake news,” she wrote in a separate tweet targeting Barlamane. Human Rights Watch also read news reports on websites that are reportedly close to security services, including some that appeared to set out the case presented to the investigative judge. “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. In January 2019, the Geneva-based Bertha Foundation awarded a grant to Radi. Because “NSO provides its offers only for government institutions, it is clear that Moroccan authorities are behind this. The prosecutor’s case and the police report on which it is founded, however, do not appear to contain evidence of the nature of the materials that Radi provided either firm that constitute the crime of espionage, or that he provided it knowing that it would damage state security. French language site Le 360 speculated that Radi had ties to MI6, the UK’s intelligence agency. The first charge was for alleged indecent assault with violence and rape following a complaint filed by his colleague, a journalist also working at the Le Desk.ma website. 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. Omar Radi and Imad Stitou, his colleague at the investigative online publication Le Desk, were arrested minutes after leaving a nightclub in Casablanca, … Omar Radi is now investigating the issue of land dispossession during the era of King Mohammed VI. It was not an article written or signed by someone from @nytimes. Morocco World News is dedicated to bringing the news of Morocco and the MENA region to a wide audience without bias or a political agenda. 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. Some of these trials have been widely denounced as politically motivated and failing to guarantee due process for all parties. The journalist is known for criticizing human rights violations in the country. Between June 7 and September 15, Human Rights Watch counted at least 136 articles attacking Radi, his family, and supporters in the Moroccan news websites Chouf TV, Barlamane, Le360, in their Arabic and French versions. Regarding the allegation that the prosecution of Omar Radi is motivated by his critical views of the government: The arrest of Omar Radi, a controversial Moroccan journalist, subject of a recent Amnesty International campaign against Rabat, on rape and spy charges, sparked another wave of outrage in the internationalmedia. In late 2017, while massive yet overwhelmingly peaceful socio-economic protests rocked Morocco’s northern Rif region, Radi visited the region frequently to work on a documentary film about the “Hirak” protest movement. Omar Radi investigative journalist and human rights activist has been the subject of a violent campaign of intimidation by the Moroccan authorities. 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. Please check your email for further instructions. 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. Based on Le Desk’s article, Radi’s contact for the job in the British company was a retired officer of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whose name was mentioned in a purported list of officers of the MI6, the United Kingdom’s foreign intelligence service. The outlet also has individual sections on its website dedicated to recent top news articles from Reuters and the Associated Press. They argued that pretrial detention has to be exceptional under the law and that such an exception doesn’t apply to Radi, who is under a travel ban and has pledged to participate fully in the judicial process. The New York Times’ removal of articles is a “common practice,” the outlet stressed. The case against Radi apparently includes an accusation that he failed to declare these amounts to fiscal authorities. Since the report’s publication, the Moroccan government has repeatedly demanded material evidence to prove the spying allegations, and evidence that shows the organization contacted Moroccan officials before publishing the report. The URL of the deleted article still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Radi told Human Rights Watch that the police confiscated his smartphone during his arrest, and that a police officer told him that the police had viewed its contents, including conversations on the encrypted messaging app Signal. Moroccan authorities furiously denied the accusation, even though a court had in late 2017 approved the tapping of Radi’s phone. A video of the incident features Alaoui hurling insults at Radi, calling him a “thief” and a “drunk.” Radi told Human Rights Watch he suspects the incident was a provocation based on the fact that the police intervened almost immediately and arrested him and Stitou while Alaoui, who had been stalking him for days, was not detained and faces lesser charges. Just business as usual,” she tweeted. In a symposium organized in Rabat in 2017 by several human rights organizations, the conclusions of which were published in a book in 2019, several journalists and university professors denounced the “Slander Media’s” defamation campaigns against Moroccan dissidents. 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. It’s large, and I don’t know. A court jailed him briefly for a tweet critical of a judge in December 2019. However, while Radi said the sex was consensual, the woman said she was assaulted. What was Omar Radi working on for the Bertha Challenge? British Economic Consulting Firms The work that forms the focus of the “espionage” case involves both journalistic work and research he conducted on contract for foreign-based clients. In October 2019, Akhbar Al Yaoum’s publisher, Taoufik Bouachrine, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting several women, in a trial that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded was marred by due-process violations and part of a “judicial harassment attributable to nothing other than his investigative journalism.”

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