“All the victims of human rights in Morocco are victims of corrupt MEPs,” argues Khadija Ryadi, former president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. These parliamentarians involved in the corruption network known as “Qatargate” and “Marocgate” “were responsible for spreading a false image of Morocco, whitewashing Moroccan power and hindering the work of human rights defenders”, specifies- she.
Seven of these victims, or representatives of those who are in prison, have formed a collective. Their objective: to bring civil action within the framework of the investigation in progress before the Belgian justice on the network of corruption which acted within the European Parliament. Four people are currently detained, including the former vice-president of Parliament Eva Kaili and the former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, strongly suspected of having acted in favor of foreign powers, in particular Morocco.
The collective brings together four journalists: Omar Brouksy, known for his writings which expose the underside of royalty; Hicham Mansouri, political refugee in France, after ten months in prison; Maati Monjib, historian and journalist, also passed through prison, and Souleiman Raissouni, imprisoned for almost three years. Activist Abdellatif El Hamamouchi, lawyer Mohammed Ziane, imprisoned since last November, and Fouad Abdelmoumni, former secretary general of Transparency Morocco, complete the list. This should stretch out. “It is difficult to inform the political prisoners who are in solitary confinement, their conditions of detention are worse than those which prevailed during the years of lead”, reports Fouad Abdelmoumni. The historical opponent of Hassan II knows what he is talking about, he who spent three years in Moroccan jails when he was a student in the late 1970s. He remains harassed by the regime, was spied on using the Pegasus spyware – like all the members of the collective – and smeared with the help of broadcasting videos of his sexual relations taken by cameras installed without his knowledge, at his home. A technique proven more than once to cast opprobrium on opponents.
“We have no proof that it was Morocco that spied on us, but who else than Morocco would have an interest in monitoring journalists and Moroccan opponents? asks Omar Brouksy. “The judicial inquiry in Belgium constitutes a breach which we want to take advantage of; the victims of the repression in Morocco are victims of the Panzeri clan which worked to prevent the European Union from playing its role of monitoring respect for human rights, they have suffered serious harm”, adds Fouad Abdelmouni .
It took the outbreak of Marocgate last December for MEPs to take an uncompromising look at the human rights situation in Morocco. On January 19, they passed a resolution condemning the violations perpetrated there and declared themselves “deeply concerned” by the allegations of corruption of deputies by the Moroccan authorities. The Pegasus commission of inquiry, created within the European Parliament in March 2022, decided on February 9 to include Morocco, so far spared, in its investigations.
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