Release journalist Soulaiman Raissouni
PEN Norway’s Writers in Prison Committee urge the Moroccan authorities to ensure Soulaimane Raissouni’s right to a fair trial and immediately release him pending the result of his appeal
To Chef du gouvernement
Mr Aziz Akhnouch
Palais Royal Touarga
To Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates
Mr Nasser Bourita
7 street F. Roosevelt
Dear Chef du gouvernement, Mr Aziz Akhnouch,
Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr Nasser Bourita,
In July 2021, the Casablanca Court of Appeal sentenced prominent Moroccan journalist Soulaiman Raissouni to five years imprisonment and 100,000 Moroccan Dirhams (11,000$) following a trial marred by irregularities, with the sentence handed down in the absence of Raissouni and his defence team. Raissouni remained in arbitrary pre-trial detention for months before his case was referred to court. His health condition has deteriorated due to his prolonged hunger strike over his unjust detention and lack of adequate medical care. On 27 October 2021, the court postponed his appeal hearing to 3 November 2021.
PEN Norway supports PEN International in their belief that Raissouni’s conviction followed an unfair trial and that he is being targeted because of the content of his writings, and we are concerned about Raissouni’s physical and psychological well-being.
Therefore, PEN Norway call on you
- to ensure Soulaimane Raissouni’s right to a fair trial and immediately release him pending the result of his appeal;
- to ensure Raissouni’s access to regular family visits, lawyers and adequate medical care pending his release; and
- to end the persecution and detention of journalists and writers simply on the basis of the content of their writing or alleged affiliations, and to immediately release all those imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Oslo, October 29, 2021,
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee Norway
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Moroccan embassy in Oslo