Rabat – Following the publication of pictures and videos depicting bruised and wounded presumed victims of recent assault, the Directorate-General for National Security (DGSN) posted a statement on its Facebook page to clarify the issue.
Boubker Sabik, provincial police chief and spokesperson for the security services, said that a technical investigation revealed the footage as “old videos” documenting “restraining acts not all crimes.”
Speaking to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Sabik stressed the DGSN’s commitment to combat fake news and attempts to undermine the citizens’ sense of safety.
Sabik also pointed out that “the dissemination of violent, fabricated content harms people’s feeling of safety and drives them to identify with such content to the point of believing it… This sometimes makes the citizen victim of fear more than the criminal threat itself.”
The official correspondingly added that the DGSN tries to quickly react to any violent content published, subjecting it to technical expertise and field investigations in order to address incidents of fake news.
The DGSN follows a communicative approach based on systematic statements issued whenever such violent content is disseminated, in order to dispel confusion and fear.
According to Sabik, the first picture was first published in May 2014, more than five years ago. It was related to a physical assault that a juvenile committed against a schoolgirl in the Casablanca’s Hassani district.
“The second one portrays a Syrian victim who was physically assaulted in Jordan and has nothing to do with Morocco,” said the DGSN. The Directorate pointed out that all the photos were old.
On the other hand, Sabik stressed that national security services seriously address all pictures and recordings of alleged crimes, and consider published photos as serious reports on possible crimes.
This digital content is subjected to technical and field investigation in order to verify its authenticity, determine the location and time of its occurrence, and identify victims and perpetrators.
Sabik called on all citizens who have records documenting criminal acts to refer them first to police, who can use them as evidence. He explained that posting such content directly on social media can work against policing efforts.
Judicial police are required to verify the footage or photos before acting in response, giving perpetrators time to escape and evade criminal responsibility.