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HRD Attack

29 Jul 2020

Omar Radi

Incident date
July 29, 2020
Date accuracy
All Correct
Omar Radi
Male
Press; media
Arbitrary detention
Target: Individual
Location of Incident: Morocco
NSO Group Israel Security companies, Technology, telecom & electronics
Other actors

Sources

On 29 July 2020, journalist and activist Omar Radi was summoned and charged with espionage. The case is apparently based on text exchanges he had with a foreign diplomat, contracts he signed with foreign corporate consulting firms to conduct research inside Morocco, and journalistic research he received a grant to conduct on the social impact of collective land expropriations. According to reports, a British economic consulting company contracted Radi in July 2018 as a local risk assessment consultant. Radi would interview people in Morocco’s financial sector to profile the partners in a Moroccan financial services firm, on behalf of a client of the British company who was considering an investment in the Moroccan firm. The charges of espionage and harming state security appear to be based on no evidence that Radi did anything besides conduct ordinary journalistic or corporate due diligence work and maintain contact with diplomats, as many journalists and researchers do routinely. There appears to be no evidence that he provided classified information to anyone. In addition, Radi's trial opened in just days after rights group Amnesty International alleged that Moroccan authorities had planted Israel-made Pegasus spyware on his cellphone. On 19 July 2021, a Moroccan court sentenced Radi to six years in jail on charges of espionage and rape, offences which he has denied.