Blackmail, Humiliation, and Corruption Allegations: Hicham Derkaoui’s Ordeal at Cadi Ayyad University

Blackmail, Humiliation, and Corruption Allegations: Hicham Derkaoui’s Ordeal at Cadi Ayyad University

Hicham Derkaoui. Youtube screen grab.

Hicham Derkaoui, a PhD candidate at Qadi Ayad University, has reportedly been blackmailed by a university professor who demanded a 10,000 dirham bribe in exchange for approving his thesis.

This story was made public by journalist Hamid Al-Mahdaoui during an interview published on Tuesday on Youtube.

Hicham found himself subjected to continual harassment and blackmailing by his supervisor, who displayed a consistent refusal to engage with him either through email correspondence or in-person meetings.

Adding insult to injury, one professor, in the process of reviewing his preliminary work, purposefully subjected the student to humiliation, dubbing him with degrading nicknames and discrediting his scholarly output as the unsophisticated work of a high school freshman, mere plagiarism from the internet, among others. This denigration came despite the fact that the student enjoys a commendable mastery of the Arabic language and his work getting applauded and recognized as “novel and creative” by multiple respected Arabic-language scholars and international university professors who had the opportunity to review part of it.

The episode shed light on possible widespread corruption in Qadi Ayad University, especially with Derkaoui stating that this was not an isolated incident.

He said that multiple complaints were filed to the university by students, who provided evidence of financial transactions to a professor through “Wafa Cash”. Despite these allegations, the university reportedly tried to bury the complaints and prevent them from reaching legal authorities.

Qadi Ayad University issued a wishy-washy statement yesterday that focused more on taking revenge and scaring Hicham and any prospective student who may feel inclined to follow a similar suit by stressing it “will take legal action to defend its reputation, which has been tainted by these allegations,” instead of conducting an investigation and taking the charges seriously. This hastened and ill-advised move from the university will only trigger more doubts and exacerbate the allegations, as the Youtube comments illustrate.

The student received huge support from various Moroccans on social media.

The Moroccan Times.