Jailed Moroccan journalist subjected to punitive measures, denied medical care

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the punitive measures to which the Moroccan authorities are subjecting ajailed former newspaper publisher, including making him wear a prison uniform and handcuffs when going to a hospital outside the prison. His growing health problems must receive appropriate medical attention. RSF says.

The family of Taoufik Bouachrine, the publisher of the now closed daily Akhbar El Youm, who has been arbitrarily jailed for the past five years and is serving a 15-year sentence on trumped-up sex charges, told RSF that it reported these punitive measures to the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) yesterday (18 May).

The family said it planned to contact “all official and non-official human rights organisations and bodies to tell them that the prison authorities are subjecting Taoufik to deliberate psychological torture and continue to deprive him of rights guaranteed by the constitution and the law.”

“We share the concerns of the family of Taoufik Bouachrine who, in practice, is being penalised three times over. As well as being jailed on trumped-up charges, he is being deprived of the medical care to which he is legally entitled and, by being made to wear a prison uniform and handcuffs outside the prison, he is being subjected to an attack on his dignity. We call on the Moroccan authorities to ensure that he gets the care he needs and to immediately cease these unacceptable new punitive measures.

Khaled Drareni
RSF’s North Africa representative

Bouachrine needs medical attention in an external hospital, his family said in a disturbing statement on 12 May. “Taoufik’s shoulder has given him a great deal of pain for the past three years, and the painkillers and drugs provided by the prison infirmary no longer have a significant effect, which prompted the prison doctor to recommend his transfer to a hospital outside the prison,” the statement said. The family points out that the National Human Rights Council also agrees that he should be hospitalised outside the prison.

However, the family says the prison authorities are refusing to take him to a hospital outside the prison unless he wears a prison uniform and handcuffs, a condition that he rightly rejects as an insult and attack on his dignity as a human being.

The General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) insisted a week ago that Bouachrinewas getting “the necessary medical attention both within the prison and in outside hospitals.” The official news agency MAPsubsequently quoted the DGAPR as saying he had received “many internal examinations, including 26 times at Ain Borjaprison and 43 times at El Arjat 2 prison.”

In practice, his state of health suggests that he is not getting all the care he needs. And he told his wife on 13 May that he was subjected to an additional series of reprisals immediately after his family published its statement – his time in the prison yard was reduced, he was placed in isolation, he was banned from making phone calls, and all contact with the prison authorities about his penalties and his rights was discontinued.

Carte Maroc/Sahara occidental
129/ 180
Score : 45.97
Published on