Morocco

The 6-year-old with a big-name player fanbase

How a Moroccan boy became popular within the African football community in France.
How a Moroccan boy became popular within the African football community in France - with a big collection of player's shirts.

Journalist probing corruption arrested on rape charge

BBC World Service

Omar Radi
Reuters
Omar Radi is also accused of undermining state security

Police in Morocco have arrested an investigative journalist on charges of rape and receiving foreign funds with the aim of harming state security.

The arrest of Omar Radi comes after he had been summoned for police questioning many times in recent weeks over allegations that he had received money linked to foreign intelligence - which he has denied.

The charge of rape against Mr Radi has only just emerged - Moroccan state news says a woman has filed a complaint of indecent assault involving violence and rape.

Human rights groups have previously accused the Moroccan authorities of intimidation against Mr Radi, who has investigated corruption among the elite.

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Morocco locks down main cities as virus surges

A Moroccan woman, wearing a protective face mask, walks in a street in Tangiers
AFP
Government says citizens are disregarding guidelines

Morocco's government has announced a fresh lockdown in some major cities as new coronavirus cases in the country hit a record high.

Movement has been restricted in the country's largest city Casablanca, as well as in Tangier, Marrakesh, Fez and Meknes.

Essential service providers authorised by government officials are exempted from the order. Those transporting goods are also allowed to operate.

The lockdown has been reinstated because of non-adherence to guidelines intended to prevent the spread of the virus, officials say.

The government warned that a nationwide lockdown was still an option if citizens kept disregarding the guidelines.

The ministry of health on Saturday announced 811 new cases and a further 633 on Sunday - bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,278.

Tangier goes into full-scale lockdown

BBC World Service

Person looks at their phone with the Tangier port in the backgrond
Getty
The Moroccan port saw new infections

Morocco has brought in a full-scale lockdown in Tangier after new clusters of coronavirus infections emerged in the port.

Road and rail transport in and out of Tangier is being suspended, while residents are being asked to stay at home - only leaving in cases of extreme necessity.

Moving within the area in and around Tangier will require authorisation from the local authorities, while a special travel permit will be required to leave the city.

Official figures in Morocco show that there have so far been almost 16,000 coronavirus cases with 253 deaths.

Map of Morocco
BBC

Morocco king treated for heart problem

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

King Mohammed VI
Getty Images

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has undergone "successful" heart surgery at the royal palace's clinic in Rabat, the state news agency MAP reported.

MAP said the king suffered from arrhythmia, which was tackled using radio frequency treatment, conducted on 14 June.

The procedure is performed to treat patients who are experiencing problems with an abnormal heart rhythm.

"This surgery was crowned with complete success," MAP said, citing a report from the king's medical team of five doctors.

The report added that the surgery managed to regulate the king's heartbeat, returning it to normal.

This is the king's second treatment for heart problems. In February 2018, he underwent surgery in Paris after MAP reported arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.

Mohammed VI acceded the throne in 1999 after his father Hassan II died of a heart attack.

Moroccan film star charged with blasphemy

A Moroccan film star has been charged with making "blasphemous" remarks against Islam.

The actor, Rafik Boubker, was arrested on Tuesday evening after a video of him ridiculing Islam's stance on drinking alcohol was shared widely.

In the video he said alcohol helps you to connect with God.

Le Parisien newspaper tweeted a screenshot of the actor speaking in the video:

View more on twitter

Islam is the state religion in Morocco, and while drinking alcohol is forbidden for Muslims, it is largely tolerated.

The national security force DGSN said it investigated the remarks after numerous complaints.

The actor has since apologised saying, "I was not in a normal state. I just wanted to make a joke".

He is expected back in court on 14 July.

Moroccan actor arrested for blasphemy

BBC World Service

Police in Morocco say they have detained a well-known actor for making what they call blasphemous comments on Islam.

The Office of National Security says that Rafik Boubker posted a video in which - it says - he appeared in an abnormal state and insulted the sanctity of worship.

Boubker has since posted another video on Instagram, apologising for what he called a mistake, saying he was not in his normal state and was just joking.

Couple’s ‘claustrophobic’ Lockdown in a van abroad

Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley

Digital Journalist

Image of Andrew Pilkington's music set up in the live-in van
Andrew Pilkington
Mr Pilkington has been making music to pass the time whilst in lockdown in his van

Bristol musician, Andrew Pilkington said the whole experience has been “strange and hard” especially after breaking down so many times looking for a place to stay and being short on gas and water.

He also described the journey to find a place to stay as “panicky” and “anxiety-inducing”.

They had previously driven the length of the Algarve in Portugal to find a place to park up and had travelled from Gibraltar to Portugal by land when they heard Morroco had closed its borders.

The couple has parked up in an undisclosed location and have a toilet they can use with access to running water.

The couple intend to drive back home when the lockdown rules are lifted across Europe

The Foreign Office is advising people stuck abroad in motorhomes and vehicles on their options for getting home if they wish to return.

Image of Morocco from Gibraltar
Andrew Pilkington
Mr Pilkington intended to travel to Morocco by land but had to turn back from Gibraltar when Morocco closed its borders