The lawyer’s club launched a campaign to denounce the racist and colonialist statements against a whole continent: “Africans are not laboratory rats.”
Rabat – The Moroccan Lawyers Club has slammed two French doctors, who appeared on a televised show suggesting a treatment for COVID-19 should be tested on Africans.
The LCI television channel aired a conversation between the president of the French Intensive Care Society, Jean-Paul Mira, and a research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Camille Locht.
During the discussion, Mira suggested testing for a potential treatment should be carried out on Africans.
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care? A bit like we did in some studies on AIDS. We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves,” said Mira.
Locht agreed with Mira’s suggestion, saying: “You are right. We are actually thinking about leading a study in Africa… We have already launched a call for bids, and we are seriously considering the idea.”
The statement stirred backlash not only in Africa but across the world.
The Moroccan Lawyers Club issued a press release and launched a campaign, lashing out at the two “colonialist” doctors.
The club described the comments as “hateful and racist.”
The statement announced the club’s decision to file a complaint for defamation and racism with the public prosecutor.
“The complaint will be filed by Mr. Mourad Elajouti and Mr. Said Maach, lawyers at the Casablanca Bar.”
The lawyers club also launched a campaign, “We are not laboratory rats,” to denounce the comments.
Ordinary people and public figures have voiced frustration over the statements across the world.
International football player Samuel Eto’o said on his Facebook: “Africa is not your playground.”
Amnesty International’s media manager for Europe and Turkey, Stefan Simanowitz, described the comments as “disgusting” in a tweet.
Ghanaian football player Christian Atsu also condemned the statement, using “angry face” emojis all over a post about the French doctors’ controversial statements.
Some Twitter users also shared a poster reading “Africans are not laboratory rats” to slam the two French doctors.
Fight racism, not just COVID-19
The United Nations recently addressed the scourge of violence and racism, stating that the world should be united in its fight against racial profiling.
“Racism violates everything we stand for and everything we do,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet wrote on March 13.
The UN Human Rights urged the world to tackle all racial profiling and “structural racial discrimination in health, employment, education and housing.”
During the Human Rights Council’s 43rd session, Bachelet recalled how the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in 2001 acknowledged how Africans continue to be “victimised by the legacies of trade in enslaved Africans and colonialism.”
The UN official said: “Like covid-19, racism and xenophobia are contagious killers,” calling for unity to work for the common good with “conviction and determination.”