The mother of journalist Omar Radi protests his detention on charges of sexual assault and harming state security in Casablanca, Morocco on September 22, 2020. (AFP/Fadel Senna)

CPJ joins call for Moroccan authorities to release journalist Omar Radi, ensure fair trial

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Yesterday, CPJ and 14 other civil society groups urged Moroccan authorities to release Le Desk investigative reporter Omar Radi, who has been in pretrial detention since his arrest on July 29, 2020, and to ensure that he receives a fair trial.

Radi’s trial on charges of sexual assault and undermining state security was set to begin today, but the main hearing was postponed to April 27, according to news reports which did not specify the reason for the delay.   

Moroccan journalists and press freedom advocates believe these charges are retaliatory for Radi’s reporting on government corruption and other topics, as CPJ has documented

Radi is held in solitary confinement at the Oukacha prison in Casablanca, according to CPJ research; he was one of four journalists imprisoned in Morocco as of December 1, 2020, according to CPJ’s prison census. Three of the four journalists have been charged with or imprisoned for sex crimes. 

The joint statement can be found here.