Amnesty International’s charges of espionage against Morocco are unfounded, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans living abroad, Nasser Bourita, stressing that the Kingdom accuses this organization of ” failing in the duty of neutrality and objectivity ”.
“Far from being in a dynamic of dialogue, they carried out a real media campaign on the basis of unfounded accusations, misleading several media and journalists,” said Mr. Bourita in an interview with the Swiss newspaper “Tribune of Geneva ”.
“It’s huge and totally wrong. We unequivocally reject these charges, ”he said.
Amnesty International has “attempted to make the link in their document between Morocco and NSO. However, no evidence comes to establish and prove any link. And so far, weeks have gone by without them being able to substantiate their claims with verifiable data or evidence. They claim that only states can hack phones using the networks they control through the telephone operators. But today the devices that mimic the network signal and hack into mobile phones are sold online, “he said.
For the minister, “there is also the tone used, in their publications and tweets. We don’t think “name and shame” is the best way to get things done, however tempted it is. ”
He noted that the response from the organization’s acting secretary general “doesn’t answer our questions. What we expected was a detailed report substantiating the spying allegations. We have requested access to the chain of custody of the telephone in question, including the software and hardware, so that the competent Moroccan authorities can make their proper counter-investigation. Because a lot of work is needed to understand how the hacking could have been done. ”
“If someone listens to our citizens, let alone someone external, we need to know who they are. Today, it has to be said that Amnesty is unable to provide any evidence. And we are not alone in saying this. The Tel Aviv court on Monday dismissed Amnesty’s complaint against the NSO company, justifying the decision by Amnesty’s failure to prove that the software was being used by their government. Another case where Amnesty speaks without evidence, ”noted Bourita.
“All of this raises serious doubts about their methodology. And Morocco will not give in to this blackmail, ”he said.
Commenting on the allegations contained in the last Amnesty report concerning the reaction of Morocco, the minister pointed out that the organization’s assertions “sweep away from the hand more than two decades of gains in human rights, recognized by all, and building institutions and consolidating good practices to place us in the same category as countries that have committed real atrocities against their own people ”.
“This statement also ignores the authorities of the country, its civil society and its citizens. Anyone who knows the Moroccan reality closely knows that Morocco has no problem with freedom of expression. We pride ourselves on the dynamism of our civil society and our country has made its development a state policy. And that must be recognized, ”he continued.
For the year 2020 alone, he recalled, Amnesty has freely published seven tendentious reports on Morocco, without counting the 72 or so other documents which have been openly unfavorable to us, without provoking any reaction from the authorities.
“We do not expect to be spared, even less flattered, but the reforms undertaken by Morocco in the field of human rights have been marked with courage and openness,” he said.
While specifying that Morocco is “only asking for evidence, or an apology” from the organization, the minister indicated that “we believe that basically, Amnesty does not have the interests of Morocco at heart, nor those of its citizens or its institutions ”.
In addition, Morocco, he noted, “it is not logical to close the door on reports that supposedly make us cringe. Our country is neither allergic to international agency reports nor to interaction. We are subject to periodic reviews by the UN, and sometimes on a voluntary basis because we believe that this interaction is likely to move us forward, to rectify the things that need to be done. ”
“Our trajectory is not perfect but we are progressing calmly compared to the expectations of our citizens. However, Morocco has the right to demand respect-based interaction, and that is what we demand from Amnesty, “he said.
Amnesty, he said, “took the liberty of making short cuts and announcing clear conclusions,” pack “them into a supposed spy story so that it would be attractive to the media. It would also have been desirable for the media to take a step back from the reports of this organization.
“Must we remember that such accusations touch both the national security of a state and the individual freedoms of its citizens? This double dimension imposes many precautions and nuance in the subject. We criticize Amnesty for failing in the duty of neutrality and objectivity and for sinning for lack of professionalism, “added the minister.