Today’s European Parliament resolution on human rights in Morocco must be free from foreign interference.

MEPs will soon vote on a resolution related to human rights in Morocco, notably on the situation of journalists in the country and the case of Omar Radi.

The Left expresses its concerns that a parliamentary delegation from Morocco – four Morocco-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee members – came to Strasbourg this week to meet MEPs, ahead of the vote on the resolution.

Since Mohammed VI ascended to the throne of Morocco in 1999, national and international NGOs have documented dozens of convictions of journalists after unfair trials and for politically motivated offences. Omar Radi’s case is part of a pattern of Moroccan authorities imprisoning independent journalists. Radi was jailed for the first time in December 2019 for criticising a judge’s decision to jail participants in the so-called “Hirak” protests in northern Morocco’s Rif region. He investigated the seizure of public land by speculators and was responsible for exposing the so-called “state servants” corruption scandal, in which around 100 people, including high-level officials, were involved. Observers consider the charges against Radi politically motivated, given that he criticised the government in the media and on social media during the two years before his arrest.

Today’s resolution is set to urge Moroccan authorities to respect freedom of expression and media freedom and calls for the release of Omar Radi and political prisoners.

While there are mounting signs that Moroccan authorities have sought to interfere in the democratic process of the European Parliament, the draft resolution does not call for the application of the same measures as applied to representatives of Qatar.

Also absent is any call for the suspension of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement and the draft neglects to mention the human rights violations committed in Western Sahara.

MEP Miguel Urban Crespo (Anticapitalistas, Spain) commented on the resolution:

“The Qatargate scandal points to an even deeper Moroccogate affair. The European Parliament should take the same precautionary measures with Morocco as it did with Qatar. Every European Parliament legislative activity in recent years involving Moroccan interests should be retrospectively reviewed to ensure that it has not been influenced by foreign interference.”