20th May 2019
Rodney Dixon QC, counsel for jailed Moroccan journalist Toufik Bouachrine, assisted by Rhys Davies, have submitted an urgent request to Dr. Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur investigating the killing of Jamal Khashoggi to obtain and examine Mr. Bouachrine’s mobile phone.
It is currently held by the Moroccan authorities due to Mr. Bouachrine’s ongoing criminal proceedings in Morocco. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently held that Mr Bouachrine’s detention was arbitrary and that his trial proceedings had been marred by violations of his right to a fair trial, and directed that the Moroccan authorities release him immediately, following Counsel’s application to the Working Group. The mobile phone is potentially relevant to the Special Rapporteur’s investigation as Mr Boucharine has stated that it contains text messages sent between himself and Mr Khashoggi about their safety and security in the period prior to Mr Khashoggi’s murder and Mr Bouachrine’s arrest. Both of them as leading human rights journalists had been highly critical of the Saudi government and its policies. Mr Bouachrine’s appeal proceedings continue in Casablanca.
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