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Morocco to rule on journalist's 'illegal abortion'

Morocco to rule on journalist's 'illegal abortion'

Morocco

The court in Morocco will respond on Thursday to a plea to release journalist Hajar Raissouni, charged with “illegal abortion” and “sexual relations out of wedlock”.

For the second hearing held on Monday, defence lawyers again pleaded for her release, highlighting the many “defects in the process” and denouncing “fabricated evidence” in the absence of obvious crime at the time of her arrest.

The 28-year-old journalist, who works for the Arabic-speaking daily Akhbar Al-Yaoum, faces up to two years in prison under the Moroccan penal code, which punishes sexual relations outside marriage and abortion when the mother’s life is not in danger.

Human rights activists and feminists were present at the court on Monday in support of the case, according to an AFP journalist.

She was detained after being arrested at the end of August in front of a medical centre in Rabat, claiming to have received treatment for internal bleeding. Hajar has termed her arrest as a “political affair”.

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