To date, the international organization has not provided any material evidence to support its allegations against Morocco.
Rabat – The heads of parliamentary groups at Morocco’s House of Representatives rejected Monday “the false allegations” against Moroccan security services contained in Amnesty International’s June 22 report on the alleged use of spyware against journalist Omar Radi.
The Members of Parliament denounced the report during a parliamentary session on July 6.
The report, in which Amnesty International alleges that Morocco has used Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to monitor Radi for over a year, is part of a series of reports that promote “tendentious, fabricated accusations,” said a press release from the House of Representatives following the session.
Amnesty International’s allegations aim to minimize Morocco’s achievements in the field of human rights, through “fabricating accusations,” the document added.
The MPs called on Amnesty International “to improve its investigative work in order to achieve its noble mission, and not to take advantage of its position to try to damage the image of Morocco.”
The parliamentary session was an opportunity to discuss Morocco’s efforts in favor of human rights, which King Mohammed VI has placed among the country’s priorities since his ascension to the throne, the press release said.
The document stressed the commitment of all Moroccan political groups to move forward in the promotion of human rights through national legislation, especially by adhering to related international conventions, consolidating the roles of institutions working for the promotion of human rights, and strengthening the mechanisms of parliamentary control in this field.
Since its publishing on June 22, Amnesty International’s report has caused controversy and prompted official responses from the Moroccan government to the spying allegations.
The report, shared with over 17 international news outlets, claimed that Moroccan authorities infected Omar Radi’s phone with spyware and tracked his interactions and correspondences for over a year.
The document, however, does not present material evidence to back the allegations—a discrepancy that the Moroccan government highlighted.
“The Kingdom of Morocco, which has been victim to an unjust international smear campaign, insists on obtaining an official response from the organization on the veracity of physical evidence used against Morocco on this matter,” said Government Spokesperson Saaid Amzazi following a council meeting on July 2.
In response to the statement, Amnesty International Regional Director MENA, Heba Morayef, addressed a letter to Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, in which the organization reiterated its allegations without providing tangible evidence.
The Moroccan government rejected the letter twice, on July 4 and July 6. In the initial response, Director of Legal Studies and International Cooperation at the Ministry of State for Human Rights, Hasna Tribak, said the letter “simply repeats the same light allegations and gratuitous accusations contained in the report, without providing scientific evidence or objective arguments.”
The Moroccan government is still waiting for the organization to provide tangible evidence proving conclusively that Moroccan authorities infected Omar Radi’s cell phone with spyware, she added.
In the second response, the Ministry of State for Human Rights issued a press release denying the reception of emails from Amnesty International prior to the publishing of the report.
“The executives at the ministry … who were mentioned in [Amnesty International’s] letter assured the minister of state, in writing, that they did not receive any emails about the matter, neither in the mentioned date, nor in any other date,” the press release said.
Morocco World News attempted to contact Amnesty International for comment on the June 22 report several times. After five days and five attempts, Mohammed Abunajela, an Amnesty International media manager for the MENA, offered vague or evasive answers to three of our five questions on June 29.
Each answer either referred us to previous Amnesty International reports or pages on its website, or directly quoted its official website.
Our questions regarding the extent to which donors influence Amnesty International’s mission and views of the countries on which it reports, and regarding AI’s response to the Moroccan government’s reactions to the June 22 report, went unanswered.
Morocco World News reached out to Amnesty International again on July 3 with a new set of questions for an investigation we are conducting, but the NGO is yet to respond. MWN intends to publish an investigative report on the organization in the near future.