Rabat (AFP)

Journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi, remanded in custody Wednesday for a rape case coupled with espionage charges, claimed to be "the victim of a stunt" in a statement released overnight Wednesday to Thursday .

"I was the victim of a skilfully orchestrated stunt, prepared for months, he wrote in this text he had written in advance to be published in case of arrest.

This 33-year-old French-speaking journalist was jailed Wednesday in Casablanca (west) for "rape" and "receiving foreign funds with the aim of undermining the internal security of the state", pending his trial scheduled for September 22, according to Moroccan justice.

The investigation into "offenses relating to indecent assault with violence and rape" was opened after a "complaint filed by a citizen", according to a statement from the Attorney General's office. The facts go back to mid-July.

"No one can believe that the activation of this malicious complaint, at this precise moment, is only an innocent coincidence, or a file entirely separate from the judicial harassment of which I am the subject", writes Omar Radi in his press release.

The journalist assures that it was about a "consensual relationship" and that he "presented to the investigators elements confirming the mutual acceptance of this relation".

"My only crime in this case / set-up is my exercise of my individual freedom with a certain indifference to the dangers that awaited me, and a recklessness vis-à-vis the oppressors who pursued me night and day", he continues.

His supporters have repeatedly denounced the harassment and "slander" of a certain press close to the government since the opening of an investigation for "receiving funds from foreign parties in order to undermine the internal security of the State "and" contacts with agents of foreign countries to harm Morocco's diplomatic situation ".

This investigation was opened at the end of June, the day after the publication of an Amnesty International report according to which his phone was being spied on using sophisticated hacking software used by the Moroccan authorities. Rabat has always denied.

For Omar Radi, the "ridiculous" accusation of espionage opened against him is "revenge" against the Amnesty report.

"I am neither a spy nor an agent paid by a foreign fund," he said recently in response to accusations by the Moroccan authorities, who see as a form of espionage his collection of information on behalf of a company British Economic Intelligence Agency.

© 2020 AFP