Moroccan king pardons journalist jailed for allegedly having abortion

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni, 28, who was sentenced to a year in jail for premarital sex and having an abortion, has been pardoned by King Mohammed VI.

Raissouni was found guilty of charges of “having an illegal abortion and sexual relations outside marriage”.

Her fiancé, Prof Rifaat al-Amin, was also sentenced to year in prison while a doctor, Mohammed Jamal Belkeziz, was given a two-year sentence for alleged complicity.

The justice ministry said the king’s intervention in the high-profile case was “an act of compassion and mercy”.

“This royal pardon comes within a framework of royal compassion and clemency, amid concern by his majesty the King to preserve the future of the couple who intended to start a family in line with religious precepts and the law, despite the error they committed which led to the legal proceedings,” declared the King, via a royal communiqué.

Raissouni told AFP news agency she believed her case had raised a “healthy and useful” debate, and called for gay sex and other jailable offences, to be decriminalised.