Moroccan authorities arrested award-winning journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi Wednesday on what press freedom advocates call “retaliatory charges.” Radi reported on the role of the Moroccan state and big business in dispossessing farmers of their tribal lands. He has spoken out about facing harassment and surveillance. An Amnesty International report alleges authorities hacked Radi’s phone using Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group. Now a court has charged Radi with undermining state security by receiving foreign funding and collaborating with foreign intelligence, and also charged him with rape. The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement that “Moroccan authorities in the past have plainly tried to make any charge against him stick in retaliation for his work as a journalist” and called on them to “release Radi [and] investigate any sexual assault charges in a credible and transparent manner.” Radi’s lawyers deny all the charges against him. He is reportedly being held in a prison in Casablanca that is a COVID hot spot. Radi was arrested on July 29. We spoke to him before his arrest, on July 16, when he was being called in several times a week for questioning.
Categories: The War & Peace Report