French MEP Defends Morocco, Slams European Parliament’s Biased Campaign

French politician and MEP Thierry Mariani has strongly denounced the MEPS’ “biased” stance and unwarranted attacks amid the wave of hostility and smear campaigns Morocco has been facing from many Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) over the alleged deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.

Mariani brought up the double standards of MEPs during a speech to the European Parliament’s plenary session, explaining that they never miss an opportunity to criticize Morocco while remaining silent about Algeria.

“We gather here today to condemn the practices of a country that curtails human rights and oppresses dissenting voices and participates in the destabilization of Africa … So that would mean that we are talking about Algeria,” he said.

Mariani further charged that the European Left had never denounced Algeria for its actions and that the EU had given everything to the nation in an effort to access its gas.

Instead, he emphasized, “we discuss Morocco, which is one of the pillars of our strategic partnership in Africa.

The French MEP specifically made reference to the resolution, which was approved by the European Parliament on Thursday, regarding the plight of Moroccan journalists, particularly Omar Radi. After being accused of rape by a female colleague, Hafsa Boutahar, the journalist was detained in 2020.

The resolution, which accuses Morocco of “harassing and intimidating journalists, human rights defenders, and diaspora activities,” received support from about 356 MEPs. About 42 people chose not to cast a vote, while 32 people opposed the resolution.

Regarding the Omar Radi case, the French MEP stated that he did not believe that the Moroccan judicial system’s rulings were any less fair or credible than those of Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

He used the most recent controversy surrounding Brussels-based NGO Fight Impunity’s involvement in the Qatar corruption scandal as an example. NGOs, like states, have their interests and their limits, Mariani argued, so people should reevaluate the respect they accord them.

It is up to Mr. Radi’s attorneys and the Moroccan people to demonstrate that he is the victim of a conspiracy, and it is not the responsibility of the European Parliament to undermine Moroccan justice, he said in his conclusion.

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