Morocco: Prominent Journalist Arrested over Sexual Assaults Complaints

The Moroccan police arrested Taoufiq Bouachrine, a prominent columnist and editor in chief of Akhbar Al Yaoum, one of the leading papers in the country, following complaints of sexual assaults filed against him.

Local media said that 20 plain-clothed policemen raided the office of Akhbar Al Yaoum in Casablanca and arrested Bouachrine.

The Arabic-language newspaper also said on its website that Bouachrine had been arrested, but it was also unable to say why.

The general prosecutor issued a statement saying that Bouachrine was arrested for investigation over sexual assault claims but did not give any further details on the plaintiff.

The statement added that Bouachrine’s arrest is not related to his practice of journalism.

In 2009, Bouachrine and Akhbar al-Yaoum cartoonist Khalid Gueddar were each given a four-year suspended jail sentence following two separate trials over a cartoon, which was deemed offensive to Morocco’s royal family.

Bouachrine has also faced lawsuits from government ministers who have accused him of defamation.

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