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When the European Parliament sacrifices #MeToo

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By adopting a resolution on freedom of expression in Morocco on January 19, 2023, the European Parliament has ushered in less than 500 words a new era: the era of suspicion of women who claim to be victims of rape.

Members of the European Parliament – elected mainly from left-wing parties – behind the text adopted by 356 votes in favor, 32 against and 42 abstentions, show their support for imprisoned Moroccan journalists, known for their critical stances towards the Sharifian kingdom but prosecuted by Moroccan justice in cases . of rape and sexual assault. One file in particular is making headlines: a file between journalist Omar al-Radhi, imprisoned, implicated by a colleague, Hafsa Butaherwho claims he was sexually assaulted by this man in July 2020. Thanks to the power of the #MeToo movement, a global revolution has made respecting women’s voices a global principle, such an accusation gives this journalist a right: to be heard, to be heard, and to have her grievances incorporated into the general understanding of the charges against the man she identifies as her attacker. This paradigm shift is evident in many European countries. In France, especially, being famous or powerful no longer afforded immunity from such charges.

A country that seems strangely astonished from outside the planet’s territory.” I also By the European Parliament: The Kingdom of Morocco. In their resolution, MEPs strongly condemn the misuse of sexual assault allegations to deter journalists from carrying out their duties. The European Parliament clearly accuses Rabat of resorting to sex scandals in order to discredit critical journalists. For MEPs, a new order of priority applies to Morocco: the defense of freedom of expression takes precedence over the right of female victims to express themselves. There is something to be surprised about here. Despite his repeated requests, Journalist Hafsa Bothar is unheard of by MEPs His appeals to human rights organizations were ignored. The person she accuses of “rape” rejects her account on the pretext that the sexual relationship was “consensual”…

What are the challenges in this situation is incognito From the words of the victim, the woman and the journalist. #MeToo, planetary movement, will you stop at the gates of the southern shore of the Mediterranean? Or should we note that for the MEPs who signed this resolution, the word Moroccan is of less value than the word European?

As long as there are dogmas… ideology against morality, prejudice against reason.

Considered, the European left has chosen its camp in 2023. Equality between men and women and respect for the voice of the victims has little weight in the face of the deafening battle that has been waged against Morocco. This turning point is unprecedented, and the change in tone is drastic. Le Monde newspaper quoted a Slovenian deputy as saying, “This decision is only the beginning.” However, the accusation of exploitation can turn against Morocco’s cowardly accusers in the face of actions that undermine human rights in other countries. The indulgence of MEPs seems to vary in geometry and geography. It is true that Morocco has no oil or gas to sell. As for King Mohammed VI’s commitment during his speech from the throne in July 2022, to officially declare that “Morocco’s progress depends on the status of women in society,” the statements, which were noted by the world press at the time, are considered ambiguous.

The explanation for the European Parliament’s position lies in another record. The text adopted by the European Parliament represents a turning point that is too serious to be attributed solely to the plight of journalists Moroccan power.

Timing also questions. Conforming to the investigation conducted by the Belgian judiciary in the European Parliament on the supposed facts of alleged corruption fools no one.

What is surprising is the double standard we are witnessing: the speed with which Morocco is being questioned is out of proportion to other countries – particularly the gas and oil powers – being spared more. Surprisingly, the imprisonment of dozens of journalists for opinion crimes, and not for common law crimes, as is the case in Algeria for example, is not the subject of interpretive decisions by members of the European Parliament.

Indeed, Morocco’s newfound status and assertion as a regional power is troubling. Morocco is a partner of Israel and falls within the scope of the Abraham Accords that are reshaping the Middle and Near East. This may be upset within the European Union which has largely missed out on this major geopolitical change.

The matter is so serious that, in an exceptional move, the two chambers of the Moroccan parliament chose to respond in a joint declaration at the end of a plenary session of the two assemblies. Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco He strongly condemns the “tenant campaign” against Morocco and regrets that “the European Parliament has allowed itself to be carried away by hostile forces within itself”.

Thus, the Moroccan Parliament decides to reconsider its relations with the European Parliament and subject them to a global re-evaluation. After France, which is still at odds with Morocco despite the official statements, it is Europe’s turn to confront Moroccan firmness. This decision is important: it confirms the position already noted in the tensions with Paris: it is Morocco that takes the initiative and formalizes the distancing. Another confirmation of the political independence and maturity of the Sharifian Kingdom, which means that it does not need the European Union to ensure its development.

Written by Michael Darmon Writer and columnist

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