Hajar Raissouni a journalist from Morocco has been had been sentenced to a year in prison after being found guilty of obtaining an “illegal” abortion. The journalist, however, has denied charges of abortion and said that she visited the clinic to undergo treatment for internal bleeding.
Hajar Raissouni, who works for the independent Moroccan daily Akhbar al-Youm, was found guilty in a trial in the capital Rabat on Monday. Her Sudanese fiancé Rifaat al-Amin was also arrested on August 31 along with her gynecologist who was given two years in jail. The journalist’s anesthetist and medical assistant were given suspended sentences of a year and eight months respectively.
According to the country’s penal code, abortion is only allowed “if necessary to protect the mother’s health” and sex outside marriage is also punishable.
Akhbar al-Yaoum, the Daily for which she works is one of the newspapers which is critical of the government of Morocco. Hundreds of Moroccan women and men signed an open letter in solidarity with Raissouni, which was published in the French daily Le Monde.