In its new report of about 140 pages on human rights in Morocco, published on Thursday, July 28, Human Rights Watch describes, with examples, a system put in place by the Moroccan authorities to silence opponents and certain journalists. According to the report, the Moroccan power is conducting harassment campaigns in the media against the power against its opponents. To subject them to unreasonable and unethical lawsuits.
It is a well run machine. a “repressive ecosystem,” the report says. According to HRW, Rabat does not only intend to silence individuals or media deemed embarrassing. Besides that, it is also about scaring everyone in a preventive way.
Alongside trials for crimes of opinion, according to the report, since the mid-2010s, Moroccan authorities have developed a system for prosecuting journalists and activists for crimes other than those relating to freedom of expression. This is especially the case journalist Hajar Raissouniconvicted in 2019 of sex outside of marriage.
The power also began to prosecute its most famous critics for other types of crimes: money laundering, espionage, rape, sexual assault, etc.
Maati Monjib, the historian and freedom of expression activist jailed for three months in 2021 for money laundering, sums up the purpose of his charges by explaining that: “political trials in the past gave prestige to dissidents [marocains], and mobilized public opinion around them. Labeling them as criminals (…) is the best way to silence them. »
We condemn facts, we have 140 pages of very precise, documented facts. We therefore expect the Moroccan authorities to respond to these facts and say what they have to say about the repression.
Ahmed Benchemsi, HRW spokesperson for North Africa and the Middle East