Washington D.C.- Few days after the publication of a Morocco World News article pleading with the Moroccan Prime Minister to take charge of the Anouzla case and put an end to this unnecessary and pointless episode that have damaged the image of Morocco, the Washington Post is urging Morocco to "drop the prosecution of Ali Anouzla,”.
Washington D.C.- Few days after the publication of a Morocco World News article pleading with the Moroccan Prime Minister to take charge of the Anouzla case and put an end to this unnecessary and pointless episode that have damaged the image of Morocco, the Washington Post is urging Morocco to “drop the prosecution of Ali Anouzla,”.
In its widely read editorial page, the American daily stated that charges “are intended only to intimidate [Anouzla] and to silence the media.”
The Washington post called prosecution of Mr. Anouzla for “inciting and providing material support to terrorists” as “misguided.” Mr. Anouzla was arrested after his website Lakome.com published a link to an al-Qaeda video calling for attacks against Morocco.
Influential decision makers in Washington DC read and analyze the Washington Post editorials. This negative piece will likely create a wave of anti-Moroccan activities in the USA including a campaign by the Algeria backed Polisario advocates bashing the Kingdom’s rights record in the “Western Sahara.” The Moroccan authorities keep making the same mistakes by allowing simple internal political events to turn into international incidents with far reaching consequences.
The disconnect between the decisions makers in Rabat and the front line diplomats and lobbyists on human rights issues continues to hamper the wobbly Moroccan diplomacy. Morocco can’t spend money and energy advertising itself as a democratic and rule of law country then turn around and persecute journalist on bogus charges.
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Mezouar evasive comments on the case and the Government Spokesman elusive explanations are unacceptable, although telling. It shows a lack of transparency in the “decision making machine” that takes these critical judgments.
Anouzla’s articles were daring, different and provoking. He was one of the few Moroccan journalists who did not follow certain self-imposed red lines. Thus, before dispensing the decision to persecute him, the “authorities” should have assessed and analyzed the ramification of their conclusion.
Given the negative international coverage, the Moroccan authorities will eventually relent and drop all charges against Anouzla, but not before the damage to the reputation of the nation is done. These kinds of faux pas have been plaguing Morocco. Controversies of this nature harm the civil society work to improve the standing of the Kingdom, especially on the “western Sahara” issue.
Since the Post’s view carries a lot of political weight in Congress and the White House, the 4 million dollar Moroccan lobbying machine will have to do some real work to counter the bad press. Moroccoonthemove.com will have to do more than write a basic reply with rosy and patronizing essays to respond to the Post solid article.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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