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9 November 2018 Moroccan journalist sentenced to 12 years

Court of Appeals on sexual assault and human trafficking charges, his lawyers said. Bouachrine was arrested in February, after a police raid on the Casablanca-based daily, “in relation to a number of complaints made by female employees who had accused the outspoken critic of sexual assault and rape”, according to the prosecutors. Authorities said police seized 50 sex videos involving Bouachrine in his office, charges that the journalist has consistently denied, adding that the man seen in the video is not him and that those filmed seem to engage in the sexual acts consensually. 8 of the 15 women initially cited were recognised as victims by the prosecution and compensated, according to their lawyers. However, four of them have denied expressing concern and one was sentenced to six months in prison for accusing the police of falsifying her statement, a sentence confirmed after her appeal this week. On the same day, some journalists and activists held a protest to call for Bouachrine’s release. They accused the government of violating his right to free speech and claim that he was jailed due to critical articles he had written on Saudi Arabia. One of the journalist’s lawyers, Mohamed Ziane, said official sources told him that “the Saudi Arabian embassy in Rabat had complained to the head of government about two of his editorials”. The verdict could still be appealed