Rabat – NGO claiming to represent members of the The Moroccan diaspora in France denounced the “dishonesty” of the initiators of the forum who spoke widely on behalf of the diaspora about the position of the diverse community on Omar Radithe case in an online column published earlier this month.
On August 14, Orient XXI published a article about Radi, who faces charges of “violent rape and receiving funds from a foreign agent”.
The column defends Radi’s case with an article under the headline “Stop the Hate Omar Radi and the repression of public discourse in Morocco. “
The article shows the number of times the Moroccan police summoned the journalist for questioning, describing his prosecution and detention as part of a “repressive machine targeting Radi”.
The column cited members of the The Moroccan diaspora in France and activists in the country and elsewhere, protesting against the alleged “escalation led by the Moroccan state against freedom of expression”.
In response to the statements in the column, 130 NGOs representing members of the The Moroccan diaspora in France protested against “the instrumentalization of the diaspora”, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
The NGO statement quoted by Moroccan state media said Orient XXI’s article misled public opinion by claiming to represent “We Moroccans residing in France”.
The response said: “We, NGOs of Moroccans residing in France … vigorously denounce the dishonesty of the initiators of this process who claim to speak on behalf” of fellow citizens residing in France.
“They have neither the legitimacy nor the moral authority to do so,” the statement argued. Unlike the initiators of the Orient XXI article, NGOs have made it clear that they represent thousands of the approximately two million Moroccans in France, rather than the diaspora as a whole.
NGOs representing members of the diaspora were also surprised at the “significant presence” of Tunisian organizations or NGOs led by Tunisians among the list of signatories.
“The diaspora considers that the manifesto interferes in the internal affairs of Morocco, which is in the interest of Moroccans alone,” they wrote, contradicting their claim to represent thousands of people in the country. The Moroccan diaspora in France, not the whole community.
The signatories also include members of the Polisario Front or activists supporting their demands for independence in Western Sahara, according to the NGO statement. After examination, we do not know which signatories the NGOs are referring to.
“Our astonishment is all the greater since the Polisario leaders are currently the subject of European parliamentary action for the diversion of humanitarian aid, intended for the populations of the Tindouf camps. Their leader, Brahim Ghali, is also accused of crimes against humanity and human rights violations, ”the NGOs wrote.
Omar Radi Case
An examining magistrate decided to place the Moroccan journalist Radi in police custody for his alleged involvement in a “violent rape case” and for “handing over funds linked to a foreign agent” on July 29.
Hafsa Boutahar, a colleague of Radi, also accused the journalist of violent rape.
She opened up about her case after Radi claimed what they were having was “consensual sex.”
In response to Radi’s claims, Boutahar argued that Radi was drunk and that despite his attempts to arrest her, he raped her on July 12.
Omar Radi dismissed all charges against him, saying he had had consensual sex with Boutahar “twice.”
The journalist too claims that the Moroccan authorities “have nothing against him” and have denied having received funds from a “foreign agent”.