Morocco: Journalist’s abortion sentence stirs rights protest

International

Demonstrators, including prominent activists and journalists, demonstrate in front of Parliament in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday Oct. 2, 2019. Several dozens of Moroccan activists and journalists protested for the release of jailed journalist Haja Raissouni on Wednesday, warning that the one year prison term handed to her last Monday threatens condition of women and civil rights in the country. (AP Photo/Nadine Achoui-Lesage )

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Prominent activists and journalists have rallied in Morocco’s capital for the release of a journalist sentenced to prison for having premarital sex and an abortion, which are both illegal in the country.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament building in Rabat on Wednesday chanted slogans protesting Hajar Raissouni’s conviction and called it a threat to women’s rights.

The 28-year-old Raissouni denied she had an abortion and claimed she was married to her Sudanese fiancé under Islamic law. The fiancé and the doctor accused of performing the abortion were also convicted.

Colleagues and relatives of the doctor attended the protest.

While in custody, Raissouni said she was mostly interrogated about her work as a journalist. Her supporters suspect she was targeted for prosecution because of her reporting.

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