MOROCCO: Violations of the privacy of Ouahiba Khourchech, former police officer, brought before the UN Special Procedures

Violation of privacy

On 16 May 2023, Alkarama submitted a communication to the UN Special Procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, informing them of the multiple violations suffered by Ms. Ouahiba Khourchech, a former police officer, and her minor daughter.  

Victim of harassment while on duty 

Ms. Ouahiba Khourchech joined the ranks of the national security in 2003 before being appointed a few years later head of the department to combat violence against women.

Paradoxically, it was during her duties that Ms. Khourchech herself was the victim of sexual harassment by her hierarchical superior. Refusing to remain silent, she then initiated administrative and judicial proceedings in August 2016 to denounce the treatment of which she had been subjected.

In response, the General Administration of National Security (DGSN), refusing to acknowledge the existence of any crime, not only suspended her from her duties, but went so far as to file a complaint against her for "insulting public officials during the exercise of their missions and towards constituted bodies" and "slanderous denunciation of fictitious crimes".   

Violations of her right to privacy

To try to obtain justice, Ms. Khourchech appointed Mr. Mohamed Ziane, a particularly courageous and committed lawyer, former Minister of Human Rights and former President of the Bar of Rabat.

Known for his criticism of the government's security policy and her denunciation of corruption, the victim's lawyer himself became the target of the intelligence services that did everything to damage his reputation. 

The intelligence services resorted to particularly dishonest maneuvers by mounting and disseminating on social networks a video in which Ms. Khourchech appears in a hotel room with her daughter and her lawyer, Mr. Mohamed Ziane, with whom she allegedly maintained an extramarital relationship according to her critics.

Ms. Khourchech reported that the intelligence services blackmailed her into stopping reporting the practices of which she had been a victim and thus reducing her to silence. She then sought the expertise of the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics (NCAVF), a forensic digital media laboratory based in Los Angeles and accredited in the United States, which demonstrated in the report prepared by Matthew "Motti" Gabler, forensic expert that the video broadcast is indeed a montage.

Refusing to give in to blackmails and threats from the authorities and fearing for her life and that of her family, Ms. Khourchech was finally forced to leave Morocco to settle permanently in the United States. 

Mandated by the victim, Alkarama addressed the United Nations Special Procedures on 16 May 2023 and in particular the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy to inform them of the situation of Ms. Ouahiba Khourchech.

Alkarama calls on the authorities of the Kingdom of Morocco to respect the terms of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which the country is a party and to conduct independent and impartial investigations against the perpetrators of violence against women.