Geneva Council For Rights and Liberties denounces the arbitrary arrest of journalist Soulaiman Raissouni, editor in chief of Akhbar al-Youm, by Moroccan authorities on Friday, May 22 without any legal basis.
The Geneva Council reported that police officers in plainclothes arrested Raissouni outside his home in Casablanca and they did not show any arrest or search warrant and the police that did not make any comment about the arrest process.
GCRL raised fears that the detention of journalist Soulaiman Raissouni comes in retaliation for his public stances on political events especially that he has been subjected to several months of defamation campaign from media platforms believed to be close to the authorities.
Authorities in Morocco have, recently, intensified their crackdown and violations of public freedoms amid widespread controversy a new draft law that would lead to more restrictions on public rights and freedom of expression. On March 19, the Moroccan government approved a bill entitled “22.20” relating to the use of social media, open broadcast networks, and similar networks, without disclosing its content or publishing its articles for public viewing.
Leaked information revealed that some of the content of the draft decree includes a prison sentence of up to three years for those who call for a boycott of a commercial product on social media.
Accordingly, the Geneva Council for Rights and liberties (GCRL) called for the immediate release of journalist Al-Risouni and urges authorities to respect the Moroccan constitution, which protects civil liberties and to abide by international treaties that guarantee freedom of expression and press freedom.