arrest of Omar Radi, journalist and human rights defender

Moroccan journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi was arrested on Sunday for “general drunkenness and violence” and then placed in police custody in Casablanca. He is at the heart of a spy business.

Omar Radi was arrested and placed in police custody. The Moroccan journalist and human rights activist, in the heart of a double spy case, was arrested Sunday night for “general intoxication and violence” in Casablanca, we were told Monday July 6 from the National Security Spokesman (DGSN).

“He was placed in police custody on instructions from the prosecutor following an incident that happened around 11:30 last night,” said the spokesman, who was contacted by AFP.

The Moroccan Justice announced on June 24 that it had opened an investigation by this journalist which she suspects had been favored by “foreign funding” in connection with “intelligence services”. The Moroccan authorities suspect him of “relations with a contact from a foreign country” who has worked “under diplomatic coverage since 1979 in several regions of tension” in the world.

“I have never been and will never be in the service of a foreign power (…) I am neither a spy nor an agent paid for by a foreign fund,” the journalist responded in a press release published on Saturday on his Facebook account. According to him, his activities “have nothing to do with the intelligence world”: “It is very common for journalists, especially those who specialize in economics, to provide the kind of work” for which he is accused.

Spied on by the authorities?

The investigation into him began after the publication of an Amnesty International report that his phone was being spied on hacking software used by the Moroccan authorities.

The Moroccan authorities have rejected this report by demanding that Amnesty provide “evidence” of these “serious and tendentious allegations” and threatened not to “take the necessary steps to defend its national security”.

Amnesty believes it has provided all relevant evidence: “The technology used to spy on Omar Radi’s phone requires an influence on telephone operators that only a government can exert to hack the Internet connection,” the organization said. in a statement released on Saturday.

At this stage, however, the Moroccan authorities believe the information from Amnesty is not “convincing scientific evidence”, according to an official statement issued on Sunday night.

Omar Radi, a 33-year-old journalist known for his investigations, had already received a suspended prison sentence in March for criticizing a judge on Twitter.

>> Read also: For journalist Omar Radi, Morocco experiences a restriction of individual freedoms

On Sunday night, he was arrested with a friend, “after an argument with a guy from Chouf TV who came to provoke them,” the journalist’s father, Radi Driss, said on his Facebook account. This friend, Imad Sitou, is also known as a critical journalist.

Omar Radi, who was already heard twice by police as part of the investigation against him, had already in late June condemned a “lynching campaign” conducted against him by two sites, ChoufTV and Barlamane.com. It was Chouf’s TV website announcing his arrest Sunday after leaving a bar, calling him a “spy” journalist and analyzing the incident as an intention to “scare”.

With AFP