Morocco's Foreign Minister to the Swiss Newspaper Tribune de Geneve

Amnesty International latest report, published on June 22, 2020, provoked an extended exchange between Moroccan officials and the organisation's representatives.
By: Berlin, Germany
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July 21, 2020 - PRLog -- Following Amnesty International's allegations against the Kingdom of Morocco, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs calls the allegations unfounded and criticized the organization for "having failed in its duty of neutrality and objectivity."Interviewed by the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Bourita said that AI's report is "far from being in a dynamic dialogue." In a war against an Israeli software company, Amnesty International accuses Moroccan security services of spying on journalist Omar Radi for over a year by infecting his phone with the Israeli spyware.

On Monday, July 13, an Israeli court decided to dismiss Amnesty International's complaint against NSO. It justified the decision by AI's failure to prove that its Pegasus spying software "was used to spy on Amnesty activists." "This is another case in which AI speaks without evidence," the Moroccan Minister said, adding that similar cases "raise serious doubts about their methodology" and that "Morocco will not give in to this blackmail." Commenting on the allegations contained in the report, the foreign minister pointed out that AI's chooses to deny 'more than two decades of achievements in human rights in Morocco, recognized by the international community." The report places Morocco "in the same category as countries that have committed atrocities against their own people," he deplored.

Minister Bourita criticized the report's claims that only countries can hack into phones through mobile operators. According to him, there are "devices that mimic network signals and hack into mobile phones and are sold online." Bourita also condemned "the tone used in [AI's] publications and tweets," adding that "we do not think that 'name and shame' is the best way to get things done." "What we were looking for was a detailed report substantiating the allegations of espionage. We have requested access to the chain of custody of the phone in question, including software and hardware, so that the competent Moroccan authorities can properly conduct their counter-investigation, because a lot of work is needed to understand how the hacking was carried out," Bourita explained. He also emphasized, during this interview, that the Moroccan government needs to have access and information about Amnesty International's sources, to find out if "someone is wiretapping" Moroccan citizens. The government has has yet to hear back from Amnesty International.

Elle P. Wolfgang
Friends of Morocco
Berlin, Germany

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