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Lahcen Haddad Calls on MEPs to Focus on Human Rights Violations in Europe Instead of Morocco


Haddad also questioned MEPs’ “mysterious silence” over cases of human rights abuse in Algeria.

Rabat – Chairman of the Morocco-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Lahcen Haddad has condemned the hostile draft resolution issued by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to interfere in Morocco’s judiciary system.

Haddad, who also served as Morocco’s Culture Minister ( 2012-2016 ), addressed a letter to MEPs on behalf of the Moroccan members of the committee in response to a draft resolution presented by the European Parliament on the “situation of journalists in Morocco, notably the case of Omar Radi.”

The resolution accused Morocco of “harassing” and giving “long sentences” against journalists for “their work.”

In response, Haddad slammed the European Parliament for the resolution, which downgraded the severity of the accusations that Radi faced during his trial.

Moroccan police arrested Radi in 2020 after Hafsa Boutahar, his fellow colleague at the Moroccan newspaper LeDesk filed an official complaint accusing him of rape.

While Radi denied Boutahar’s accusations, the victim insisted that the journalist raped her in 2020 at their boss’ house, where she temporarily resided for over a month following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Recalling the charges Radi faced during the trial, Haddad stressed that Radi was arrested “by virtue of common law as he is accused of rape.”

“Aware of what this case of sexual violence presents, like similar ones that preceded it, for litigants, the court decision was rendered on the sole basis of impartial application of the law,” Haddad stressed.

The chairman of the Morocco-EU committee also condemned the defamation campaign, and fake news targeting the complainant in Radi’s case, stressing that such acts jeopardize the victim’s safety, health, and well-being.

“No person can be subject, as underlined by the Preamble of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco and article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil Rights, to discrimination or persecution because of their sex, identity, social origin, opinion for the sole purpose of intimidation or to force them to silence,” he added.

Morocco’s Association for Victim’s Rights (AMDV) has recently echoed the same sentiment in a press release, stressing that Radi’s arrest and sentencing have nothing to do with freedom of expression but “consist of rape and indecent assault committed against a colleague in the workplace.”

Radi’s victim, Boutahar, also expressed disappointment about the campaigns targeting her, acknowledging that she felt “unprotected” during and following the trial.

Haddad also called on MEPs to exercise extreme vigilance in the face of this case, which remains an ongoing case at a Court of Appeal.

“We would have liked our MEP colleagues to investigate real and proven cases of human rights violations in other countries of the European neighborhood instead of focusing on Morocco, a country that has made very notable advances in the field of human rights as confirmed by the UN Human Rights Council, the American State Department, the European Human rights bodies and various other organizations,” Haddad emphasized.

Seeing the draft resolution as a “blatant example of double standards,” Haddad also called on the European Parliament to investigate the human rights situation in Algeria, recalling the regime’s decision to shirk its obligations and commitments.

“Algeria is shirking its human rights obligations and commitments and persists at serious human rights violations and the continued repression of Hirak activists, journalists and voices that criticize the regime,” Haddad said.

Source: Morocco World News