Rabat - A video of a Moroccan police officer refusing to shake hands with the mayor-president of Ceuta has gone viral.
Rabat – A video of a Moroccan police officer refusing to shake hands with the mayor-president of Ceuta has gone viral.
The video, which went viral August 1, shows the policeman standing next to the border crossing between the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Morocco. When Mayor-President Juan Jesus Vivas approached and extended his hand, the police officer ignored the Spanish official.
The mayor-president then gently touched the police officer’s shoulder and left.
Morocco World News spoke with a ranking police officer at the Hassan police station in Rabat, asking about the protocol on shaking hands.
He told MWN that he could not make further comment on the video at this time because he is not aware of the specifics of the law when police officers are on duty at borders. However, in general, an armed police officer is not permitted to make physical contact with any person and is encouraged to maintain a distance.
He added that the police do not yet know if the police officer in the video was acting of his own accord or if he was just following protocol for the situation.
The action of the police officer prompted reactions in Morocco and overseas.
Egyptian journalist Moataz Matar paid a special tribute to the police officer, calling for Morocco to honor him. “Here, a man with dignity stands,” said Matar. He dedicated an episode of his television show “With Moataz” to the police officer’s action.
In his television show, the journalist also gave his audience a brief history of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
Moataz said the police officer was “suffering as he stands in the crossing border everyday to see his colonized territory.”
Moataz added that the Ceuta mayor-president is a “deputy of colonizers.”
“His eyes said everything that should have been said. He did not think of post reactions … my dignity refuses that I should extend my hands to shake them with you,” he said.
“No peace with a colonizer,” Moataz added.
A number of social media users in Morocco shared the video, saluting the police officer.
One wrote on her Facebook page, “A stance is better than a thousand words. Moroccan and proud.”