Omar Radi had been awarded a scholarship to investigate the social impact of land expropriation for public utility in Morocco. The move led some local outlets to suggest the New York Times’ editorial board may have doubts about Amnesty International’s claims, for which AI has failed to provide tangible evidence. In late 2017, while massive yet overwhelmingly peaceful socio-economic protests rocked Morocco’s northern Rif region, Radi visited the region frequently to work on a documentary film about the “Hirak” protest movement. The total amount of these payments, between 2012 and 2020, amounted to about $15,000. Since the report’s publication, the Moroccan government has repeatedly demanded material evidence to prove the spying allegations, and evidence that shows the organization contacted Moroccan officials before publishing the report. The journalist is known for criticizing human rights violations in the country. One of those reports, which disclosed details of the police investigation on Radi, was briefly available online and then deleted. This is not the first time the authorities have set their sights on Radi. 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The defense appealed that decision on the grounds that it was accompanied by an insufficient justification. In June, Amnesty International reported that Radi’s smartphone had been penetrated by potent spyware that its developer said it sells only to governments. The case was possibly motivated by Raissouni’s family ties with high-profile dissidents, and her journalistic work at Akhbar Al Yaoum, a daily newspaper that authorities have targeted repeatedly for its independent reporting and commentary. The first charge was for alleged indecent assault with violence and rape following a complaint filed by his colleague, a journalist also working at the Le website. A review of the New York Times archives supports this assertion. The journalist is known for criticizing human rights violations in the country. The prosecutor’s case against Radi is apparently based on text exchanges he had with a foreign diplomat, contracts he signed with foreign corporate consulting firms to conduct research inside Morocco, and journalistic research he received a grant to conduct on the social impact of collective land expropriations. The same apparently applies to Radi’s consultancy for another British firm on Morocco’s agriculture sector, for which he earned the equivalent of about USD450. Barlamane also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions. Radi told Human Rights Watch that the police confiscated his smartphone during his arrest, and that a police officer told him that the police had viewed its contents, including conversations on the encrypted messaging app Signal. The articles often included vulgar insults and personal information. local outlets such as Barlamane and Chouf TV as “proxies” of Moroccan authorities after they published reports on the retracted article. The defense challenged that decision on September 2, arguing that pretrial detention should be reserved for exceptional cases, referencing Morocco’s Constitution, domestic laws, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The prosecutor’s case and the police report on which it is founded, however, do not appear to contain evidence of the nature of the materials that Radi provided either firm that constitute the crime of espionage, or that he provided it knowing that it would damage state security. Les articles écrit par Reuters ou l associated press ne restent pas sur le site plus qu’un temps limité. A New York Times standards representative told MWN that such removals are, in fact, standard practice and part of an automated process. In a separate case, Radi will appear before a judge on September 24 on charges of “manifest public drunkenness,” violence, and insults, and risks up to six months in prison. Two witnesses to the incident told Human Rights Watch that Alaoui had been waiting outside the pub for hours while Radi was inside, and started filming him the minute he and Stitou walked out, around 11 p.m. Omar Radi, 33, is due to be tried on January 2, 2020 for allegedly insulting a judge who imposed heavy penalties on protesters from the Rif region. However, NYT’s article sourcing procedures do not discount allegations from several sources of Amnesty International’s bias against Morocco. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Radi, who has been in Oukacha Prison, in Casablanca, since his arrest on July 29, will appear before an investigative judge on September 22 on accusations of “harming the external security of the State by sharing intelligence with foreign agents in order to undermine Morocco’s diplomatic situation,” “harming the domestic security of the State by receiving foreign funds in order to undermine the citizens’ loyalty to Moroccan institutions,” “indecent assault with violence,” rape, violating Morocco’s general tax code, and tax evasion. Radi was placed under pretrial detention on July 29 by the investigative judge who justified this measure on the basis of “the danger of the criminal acts, the harm to public order, and the presence of evidence,” Radi’s lawyers told Human Rights Watch. The URL of the deleted article still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions. Sex Offense Cases in a Politicized Context On July 23, a woman who works as an advertisement salesperson for Le Desk, the news site that employs Radi, filed charges of rape and indecent assault with violence against him. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi.. On September 3, the investigative judge rejected the motion to release him on the grounds that “the acts [for which Radi is prosecuted] are dangerous, the investigation is still at its beginning, (and) releasing [Radi] could obstruct investigative proceedings,” the defense told Human Rights Watch. It’s large, and I don’t know. On September 2, Radi’s lawyers requested that their client be released provisionally pending trial. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 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A video of the incident features Alaoui hurling insults at Radi, calling him a “thief” and a “drunk.” Radi told Human Rights Watch he suspects the incident was a provocation based on the fact that the police intervened almost immediately and arrested him and Stitou while Alaoui, who had been stalking him for days, was not detained and faces lesser charges. Charges of Espionage and Harming State Security Thanks for subscribing! The police and the prosecutor apparently concluded that Radi’s services were not an innocent consultancy, but rather espionage. “ The article shows the number of times the Moroccan police summoned the journalist for questioning, describing his prosecution and detention as part of a “repressive machine targeting Radi”. In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said Amnesty International failed to be neutral and objective in the June 22 report. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. According to Dudding, only agency-sourced articles that appear in NYT’s print newspaper remain on their website long-term “as part of our record.” He added that “you can tell if an article appeared in print at the bottom of the page.” A review of the New York Times archives supports this assertion. Journalist and activist Omar Radi waits outside the court in Casablanca, Morocco, March 12, 2020. The Embassy of the Netherlands in Morocco Sign up to the best of our news, informed analysis and opinions on what matters to you. Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808. Omar Radi works with Moroccan news outlet Le Desk, which claimed Thursday that the New York Times regularly deletes articles published through other outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press. Providing information to foreign governments or entities can constitute a recognizable criminal offense, depending on the nature of the information and the recipient and the intent of the provider. Radi is a freelance investigative journalist who writes primarily for Le Desk and is a member of the ICIJ journalism consortium. Amnesty International published a report on June 22 in which it alleges that Moroccan security services used Israeli software to spy on Radi. Please check your email for further instructions. In September 2019, a court in Rabat convicted and sentenced Hajar Raissouni, a journalist, to one year in prison for having an abortion and sex outside marriage. Radi says the article contained details taken from conversations he had on the encrypted apps Signal and WhatsApp, and he suspects government intelligence officers … Omar Radi’s case benefits those fixated on demonizing Morocco and haughtily dismissing all the progress the country has made in recent years. … Radi received the equivalent of about USD1,500 for the job. The judge rejected the motion to grant Radi provisional release on September 3. In a Facebook post dated August 25, the woman who accuses Radi of rape responded to Bernani’s Washington Post op-ed. Some of these trials have been widely denounced as politically motivated and failing to guarantee due process for all parties. On July 29th the Attorney General at the Casablanca Court of Appeal requested the prosecution of controversial Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, currently under arrest on several charges. with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said Amnesty International failed to be neutral and objective in the June 22 report. Such broadly worded offenses are so open to arbitrary interpretation by judges that a person cannot reasonably predict what acts will be considered crimes, Human Rights Watch said. Those websites disclosed details on the “foreign intelligence agent” in question, and unequivocally accused Radi of being a “spy.” The spyware technology is the same as that described in a leaked document from 2015 linked to Israeli’s, Since the report’s publication, the Moroccan government has, material evidence to prove the spying allegations, and evidence that shows the organization. They argued that pretrial detention has to be exceptional under the law and that such an exception doesn’t apply to Radi, who is under a travel ban and has pledged to participate fully in the judicial process. Radi would interview people in Morocco’s financial sector to profile the partners in a Moroccan financial services firm, on behalf of a client of the British company who was considering an investment in the Moroccan firm. Such examinations, when performed without consent, amount to cruel and degrading treatment under international human rights standards. still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” But the article itself has been wiped clean, leaving only a “Page No Longer Available” message. The police arrested Radi and Stitou, while letting Alaoui free. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. The arrest of Omar Radi, a controversial Moroccan journalist, subject of a recent Amnesty International campaign against Rabat, on rape and spy charges, sparked another wave of outrage in the internationalmedia. The New York Times’ removal of articles is a “common practice,” the outlet stressed. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. The prosecutor recommended charging Radi under Penal Code article 206, which punishes “harming the domestic security of the State by receiving from a foreign organization any form of gift, present or benefit destined to remunerate in Morocco an activity or propaganda that aims to […] shake the loyalty due by the citizens to the State and the institutions of the Moroccan people.” The penalty is up to five years in prison. Charges of Indecent Assault and Rape Omar Radi is the only one to have disclosed elements of the investigations, in an obvious attempt to maintain the misleading perception of an alleged “judicial harassment” against him. Get updates on human rights issues from around the globe. Mounting troubles for Omar Radi. A court jailed him briefly for a tweet critical of a judge in December 2019. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. French language site Le 360 speculated that Radi had ties to MI6, the UK’s intelligence agency. Earlier this year, as part of an investigation into land rights abuses, he interviewed villagers who later called him to retract their quotes, saying they had been threatened by the police. The journalist replied that he simply written an article about “the financial situation of a private Moroccan company” for a consultancy firm that “currently has a British Foreign Office pensioner on staff, who left in 2011.” The outlets suggested the American media giant may be unsure of the veracity of the Amnesty International report. Tax evasion in Morocco is punished by fines, except in cases of repeat offenses, which carry short prison sentences. “The espionage charges and a cascade of other charges appear concocted to take Omar Radi down.” A quick search of the New York Times archives will yield scores of undeleted reports by Reuters and the Associated Press dating back several years. Radi denied that he knew at the time of any intelligence affiliation of his contact in the British economic advisory company, and denied that he provided that person or that company any services beyond conventional research into private corporations. Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Radi’s name featured in a recent report from Amnesty International. Tax Evasion Charges Radi and Stitou were charged with public drunkenness, violence, insults, and filming a person without their authorization. Because “NSO provides its offers only for government institutions, it is clear that Moroccan authorities are behind this. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The case against Radi apparently includes an accusation that he failed to declare these amounts to fiscal authorities. Human Rights Watch also read news reports on websites that are reportedly close to security services, including some that appeared to set out the case presented to the investigative judge. The information included banking and property records, screenshots of private electronic conversations, allegations about sexual relationships (or oblique threats to expose them), identities of roommates, and biographical details, sometimes as far back as their childhood, complete with information on the parents of the targeted individuals. “You are a propagator of fake news,” she wrote in a separate tweet targeting Barlamane. Charges of Public Drunkenness, Violence, Insults Raissouni, her fiancé, and the doctor were freed on October 16 after receiving a royal pardon. Seven. The same investigating judge will examine all of these charges. British Economic Consulting Firms Chouf TV was mentioned as part of the “Slander Media,” a group of websites reportedly tied with security services that was denounced on July 16 by a collective of 110 Moroccan journalists for bombarding dissidents with “defamation, insults and calumny” each time the authorities placed them under investigation. In the past few years, hundreds of other articles were published in those websites and others with comparable editorial lines, attacking Moroccan journalists, activists, and artists critical of the authorities.   His accuser, who has stepped forward publicly, has a right to be heard and respected, and, like Radi, a right to fair judicial proceedings. Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International (AI) … Prior to arresting him, the police also questioned Radi over bank and cash transfers he received from outside Morocco as payment for various jobs, including for freelance articles for foreign media. If convicted of undermining national security under Articles 191 and 206 of the Moroccan penal code, Radi could face a fine of 1,000 to 10,000 dirhams ($107 to $1,071) and one to five years in prison; if convicted of sexual assault under Articles 485 and 486, he could face up to 10 years in prison. Other journalists of Akhbar Al Yaoum have been jailed on sexual misconduct charges. “The authorities should drop all unfounded charges against him, release him pending trial, and guarantee fair and transparent proceedings for him and all parties in court.” An article published on July 15 by the news site Le Desk, for which Radi works, says that a British economic consulting company contracted Radi in July 2018 as a local risk assessment consultant.

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