This is not the first time France 24 has published fake news about Morocco---similar incidents occurred in 2017.
Rabat – French television channel France 24 has reportedly falsified a Moroccan-led solidarity petition with Lebanon, reframing the document as demands for greater freedom of expression in Morocco.
The original petition in solidarity with Lebanon calls for greater free speech rights for Lebanese demonstrators after the August 4 Beirut explosions.
Moroccan writer Abdellatif Laabi gathered the signatures of 400 Moroccan artists and intellectuals for the petition, reports Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia.
However, the same source claims that France 24 has twisted the petition and accompanying images, reporting that the signatories are protesting the state of human rights in Morocco.
France 24’s false report is not the first about Morocco, according to Moroccan outlet Le360.
The channel reframed protests in Venezuela as demonstrations in the Moroccan city of Al Hoceima on July 13, 2017. Al Hoceima is where the Hirak protests occurred from 2016 to 2017.
The 2017 incident led the former Moroccan Minister of Communication and Culture, Mohamed Laarej, to send a formal complaint to Marie-Christine Saragosse, the CEO of France Medias Monde. The national French media group includes France 24, RFI, and Monte Carlo Doualiya.
“What France 24 has committed stands in total contrast with the most basic journalism rules that every media concerned with the transparency and objectivity of the news aired on its programs is obliged to respect,” wrote Laarej.
France 24 then apologized for the false report, attributing it to a “technical issue” that occurred during an interview broadcast from Morocco on the protests in Al Hoceima.
“We are sorry for this technical problem, and we apologize to our viewers,” a France 24 Arabic news anchor said on July 18, 2017, reading an official statement from the channel.
The Venezuela fiasco followed another false report on Morocco from France 24 one month prior. The French channel used images of marches related to International Labor Day on May 1 during a program about protests in Al Hoceima.
France 24 is yet to release an official statement on its latest alleged blunder.