Morocco: Rabat Court Postpones Raissouni’s Trial to September 23

Hajar Raissouni
Hajar Raissouni

The Court of First Instance in Rabat has postponed the controversial trial of Hajar Raissouni, currently being held in Al-Arajat prison, to September 23.

Al Yaoum 24 reported on Monday evening that Raissouni’s  defense team asked for the trial to be postponed due to the health conditions of the detainees.

Raissouni, a journalist at Akhbar Al Yaoum newspaper, is facing illegal abortion and premarital sex charges. 

On Saturday, August 31, Police arrested Raissouni on her way out of a doctor’s office, accusing her of undergoing an illegal abortion. 

Police arrested the journalist along with her fiance, the doctor,  and his two aides for illegal abortion.

If convicted, Hajar Raissouni will receive two years in prison.

Following her arrest, Raissouni refuted all police accusations. She told the court that she had been married to her fiance in a religious ceremony, and was only waiting for documents from the Sudanese embassy to formalize the union. The official marriage was expected to take place two weeks after her arrest.

Five days after Hajar Raissouni’s arrest, new evidence emerged. A medical report, signed by Dr. Samir Bargach from Rabat’s Ibn-Sina Hospital, confirmed that Raissouni had undergone an abortion.

The medical report also claimed that this was not Raissouni’s first pregnancy and abortion, a statement from the Public Prosecutor at the Court of First Instance said on September 5.

The journalist’s arrest  is related to acts that are “considered criminal offenses under the criminal law, namely, the practice of abortion on a regular basis,  and accepting medically induced abortion,” the prosecutor stated.