A man carries a banner at a demonstration outside a court in solidarity with detained journalist Hajar Raissouni, in Rabat, Morocco, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. Banner in Arabic reads "Freedom to Hajar Raissouni" (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

Moroccan journalist denies charges of illegal abortion

September 09, 2019 - 12:40 pm

SALE, Morocco (AP) — A Moroccan journalist has appeared in a packed courtroom on charges that she had an illegal abortion after becoming pregnant while single.

The case has gained attention among journalists and rights groups.

The 28-year-old Hajar Raissouni has been jailed since Aug. 31. She denies having had an abortion and claims she was married to her Sudanese fiancé under Islamic law. The fiancé, a gynecologist and two others also were jailed.

They appeared in court Monday as dozens of protesters gathered outside the courthouse in Sale, near Rabat, chanting "freedoms are in danger."

Abortions are illegal in Morocco.

Raissouni claims she was arrested outside a clinic she visited for an "urgent intervention," not an abortion.

She works for the Arabic-language paper Akhbar Al Yaoum.

The trial was adjourned until Sept. 16.

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