The request for provisional release of journalist Omar Radi, in preventive detention for eight months on charges of espionage and rape, was once again rejected by the Moroccan courts, one of his lawyers told AFP on Thursday (April 8th). . This 34-year-old activist known for his commitment to the defense of human rights is accused of having received “foreign funding”, “attacking the internal security of the state” and “rape” in two cases judged jointly.
After several refusals, his lawyers had made a new request for parole at the opening of his trial, Tuesday before the criminal chamber of the Casablanca Court of Appeal, before the hearing was postponed to April 27. “We really hoped that provisional release would be granted to Omar Radi in view of his state of health. Pre-trial detention is first and foremost an exceptional measure and he has all the guarantees to attend his trial ”, told AFP Me Miloud Kandil. The journalist however obtained access to his file, which was not allowed to him until then.
The investigation for rape was opened in July 2020 after the complaint of one of his colleagues. If Omar Radi talks about “Freely consented relationships”, the complainant asserts that she was not consenting and pugnaciously defends her “Right to dignity”. The investigation for “espionage” concerns, according to the journalist, information transmitted within the framework of his profession of journalist. It was opened at the end of June 2020 after the publication of an Amnesty International report claiming that his phone was being spied on by Moroccan authorities via hacking software. Rabat has always denied, denouncing a “International smear campaign”.
Omar Radi had already been sentenced in early 2020 to four months suspended prison sentence for “contempt of court” after a tweet criticizing a judge.