Journalist in Morocco Jailed for Undergoing Abortion and Having Premarital Sex



Hajar Raissouni, 28: convicted to a year in jail for unlawful abortion even though she denied having gone through the medical procedure.


Feminism will be a relevant and necessary movement and conversation until every woman population bears freedom of choice for her own life.

I heard it again not long ago.

“Feminism is SO last paradigm” or “we don’t need feminism anymore. Women have acquired enough rights…we are in 2019 so it’s not like it used to be a hundred years ago.”


So that’s meant to be good enough? That only a portion of women in the world enjoy increased freedom compared to those they didn’t have a hundred years ago.
Let’s see. Sex outside marriage in Morocco can be penalized for up to one year in prison as per the article 490 of the penal code.

The story of Hajar Raissouni came as a sore and urgent reminder as the journalist was sentenced to jail earlier today for undergoing an abortion and having premarital sex in Rabat, Morocco.

According to the Clooney Foundation for Justice,

“Ms. Raissouni were sentenced to one year in prison and fined, her doctor was sentenced to two years in prison and fined, and the docto’s assistance and anesthesiologist were given suspended sentences of eight months and fined.”

According to her lawyers, Mrs. Riassouni was looking after some medical assistance for hemorrhage and not an abortion.
She was examined against her will for twenty minutes and the prosecution did not provide any proof that Mrs. Raissouni underwent an abortion.

Lebanon has no minimum age for marriage for all of its citizens. Instead, religious courts set the age based on 15 personal status laws, some of which allow girls younger than 15 to marry.
In Kyrgyzstan, police registered 2,701 cases of domestic violence during the first three months of 2019.
In Algeria, the article 200 the nation’s penal code stated that a rapist could be exonerated if he promised to marry his victim, provided she had reached the age of 12.
In Syria, the law stipulates that if the rapist marries the victim, the rapist receives no punishment.
The following nations are still upholding the marry-your-rapist law: Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Syria.

Although many human rights organizations are keeping a close watch on these nations and moving to have these laws repealed, there are thousands of women getting raped every single day without any consequence for their rapist.
In Morocco alone, the illegality of premarital sex prevents rape victims from reporting the rape by fear that they will not be believed and will instead be investigated for pre-marital sexual relations.
In the United States, Native American women make about 58 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men and black women make 62 cents to the dollar a white man makes.

And you think we no longer feminism or the simple, universal belief that women have equal rights?

America’s Women and the Wage Gap. (2019). Retrieved from: http://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf

Clooney Foundation for Justice (2019, September 30). Retrieved from: https://cfj.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/20190930-Hajar-Raissouni-Response-Morocco.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1nCPNSWrjgUEzT_Z8XDCWpp1YdgxisSuoGb1PXqR_8u7onFd8_sVKfymo

Kyrgyzstan: Pressure Builds to Protect Women and Girl. (2019, May 18). Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/28/kyrgyzstan-pressure-builds-protect-women-and-girls

Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice. (2019). Policy Pack II.IV. Retrieved from: http://platformwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Repro.-Policy-Pack.-Jan.-2019.pdf

Photo credit: Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP/SIPA

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