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Ex-Moroccan minister bags three years jail term for accusing intelligence service of making fake video

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A former Moroccan Minister, Mohamed Ziane, was on Monday, sentenced to three years in prison by a Rabat Court of Appeal after he was found guilty of defamation, contempt of public officials, and other sundry charges.

The 79-year-old Ziane who is known for his opposition views had, early in February, sentenced by a high court but was released on bail while his appeal was heard but at the appeal hearing, the Rabat Court of Appeal upheld the three-year prison sentence in the case which was brought against him by the Ministry of the Interior.

The Moroccan Public Prosecution had charged Ziane with “contempt of public officials and justice, insulting a constituted body, defamation, and adultery and sexual harassment” after he has accused the country’s intelligence service of faking an indecent video against him that was broadcast by a local news site.

In 2020, Ziane, a lawyer who was Morocco’s Minister of Human Rights between 1995 and 1996, had condemned a defamatory campaign against him after a news website broadcast a video clip that was filmed inside a hotel room, showing him naked with one of his clients.

He had accused the head of the police and domestic intelligence, Abdelatif Hammouchi, of being responsible for “faking” the video which caused widespread uproar on social and local media at the time.

In bringing the case against Ziane, the Ministry of the Interior said in early 2021 that it had a “strong commitment to protecting its employees from attacks, insults and slander that may target them in the course of carrying out their duties.”

Metro

UN experts accuse South Sudan officials of overseeing gang rapes, beheadings of victims

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A panel of United Nations rights experts on Tuesday, accused South Sudan officials of overseeing systematic gang rapes and beheading of victims, some as young as nine.

The panel also called for a thorough investigation of government officials to ascertain the level of involvement of the officials.

The UN investigators say sexual abuse has been used as a “weapon by all sides in the country’s civil conflict which erupted in 2013 and triggered Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.:

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan also said in a statement it had reasonable grounds to believe a county commissioner in the northern State of Unity had orchestrated gang rapes at a military camp.

“The documented abuses also involved beheadings, with rape victims being forced to carry the severed heads, victims being burnt alive, and days of brutal sexual assaults,” the UN experts said in the statement.

Conflict-related rape and sexual violence in Unity State has become so systematic and is a direct result of impunity,” a member of the commission, Barney Afako, told journalists at the presentation of the report.

However, South Sudan’s Information Minister and government spokesman, Michael Makuei, has dismissed the commission’s statement as mere fabrication.

“They come and sit in hotels here in Juba and fabricate these false reports on South Sudan to make a living. I am saying these are false reports fabricated against the government,” Makuei told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

Military spokesperson for Vice President Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), Lam Paul Gabriel, also debunked the report, saying the movement had had no hand in the reported crimes.

“This report is misplaced because they do not know who is fighting who in those areas where these accusations are made,” Lam said.

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Metro

South African serial rapist who claimed to be ‘Boko Haram’ gang member bags life imprisonment

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A Limpopo, South Africa serial rapist, Selekenyane Tumelo Marakala, who claimed to be a member of the ‘Boko Haram” gang, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping and choking a woman.

The 30-year-old gangster, was sentenced on Wednesday by Regional Court in Mahwelereng, was said to have told his victim that he was a member of the dreaded gang and threatened to kill her if she resisted the rape.

The Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, told the court that on Sunday, June 9, 2019, Marakala from Moshate, Maroteng village, met the victim, a 19-year-old woman from Ga-Madiba who was on her way home from a tavern just before midnight.

“He grabbed the victim from the back and took her to his house and raped the victim over the night. The accused, Marakala, covered his face with a balaclava.

“He strangled the victim and he voluntarily let the victim to go in the following morning.

“The accused took off the balaclava and introduced himself to the victim as a member of a dangerous gang called Boko Haram, and threatened her not to report him.

“Ultimately the victim went to the police station to report the incident,” Ledwaba said.

The police said Marakala was arrested “within a short space of time” by the police’s Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit after the victim reported the assault and was remanded in custody since 2019, until the final appearance in the trial.

“The case was successfully investigated and the conviction was secured by Sergeant Ramolokwane Leshaba,” said Ledwaba.

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