Moroccan journalists Dounia and Adnan Filali are currently on a hunger strike in France, protesting against the ongoing harassment they face from the Moroccan regime. They also accuse the French authorities of complicity in this repression. This drastic decision comes after years of persecution they have endured, and they state that they will only end their hunger strike when their rights as political refugees are respected, and they feel safe.
According to their statement, the journalists denounce the deprivation of their fundamental rights as political refugees and human beings by the Parisian authorities, who seem to prioritize preserving their bilateral relations with Morocco rather than upholding laws and international conventions. They call upon human rights organizations and democratic countries to support them in their quest to be resettled in a safe country that respects their rights, dignity, and freedom of expression, in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
Franco-Moroccan Complicity: Evidence Revealed by the Journalists
Dounia and Adnan Filali claim to have recently obtained confidential documents that prove the French authorities’ intention to persecute them in collaboration with the Moroccan authorities. These documents would confirm their allegations that the French authorities seek to silence them in order to maintain bilateral relations between the two countries. The journalists also denounce the defamation charges brought against them, which they believe to be a reuse of tactics used by the Moroccan regime to force them out of their home country.
This revelation echoes the findings of a special committee of the European Parliament and human rights organizations, which have already denounced the use of the Pegasus spyware program by the Moroccan regime to surveil journalists and activists, both within and outside the country. The journalists emphasize the urgent need for increased protection for Moroccan human rights defenders and journalists who risk their lives to inform the public.
1/2 Moi et @AdnaneFilalitv nous annonçons notre grève de la faim. Ceci est la dernière alternative qui nous reste pour lutter contre l'oppression insupportable que nous subissons de la part des autorités françaises en vue de satisfaire le régime marocain. +d’Infos,voir communiqué pic.twitter.com/7IADTeH9d3
— Dounia Filali دنيا فيلالي (@DouniaFilalitv) June 2, 2023
Human Rights Violations in Morocco and a Looming Power Crisis
This hunger strike by Moroccan journalists sheds light on the serious human rights violations that persist in Morocco. Recent reports, both national and international, have highlighted these abuses, including the imprisonment of a former human rights minister for expressing his personal opinion on matters related to the royal palace, which has been vacant for a long time due to the health of Mohammed VI and the uncertainty surrounding the power succession amid rivalries between factions of the royal court and the influence of Zionist lobbies on political decisions.
It is crucial for the international community to intensify its efforts in protecting journalists and human rights defenders in Morocco and other countries where they risk their lives for the truth. Democratic governments must take concrete measures to support political refugees and ensure that oppressive regimes cannot extend their control to other territories.
The hunger strike by Moroccan journalists in France is a resounding call for justice and freedom of expression. It is imperative that their voices are heard, and concrete steps are taken to end the repression they are facing. The situation also reveals the importance of constant vigilance against human rights violations wherever they occur, in order to defend democratic values and the fundamental rights of all individuals.
Statement by Dounia and Adnan Filali: Full Text
HUNGER STRIKE BY DOUNIA AND ADNANE FILALI
We are Dounia and Adnane Filali, Moroccan journalists, recognized as political refugees by the United Nations Refugee Agency in China in 2021, in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of the 1951 Geneva Convention.
For the past two years, on French soil, we have been persecuted by the Moroccan regime and complicit French authorities, who, instead of upholding the law and international rights, prefer to preserve their bilateral relationship with Morocco in the most undignified manner by denying us our rights as political refugees and basic human beings. In addition, we have been subject to constant harassment by both French and Moroccan authorities with the common goal of silencing us. Threatened with death, we are denied justice. As professional journalists, we are denied the right to work, and as political refugees, we are denied protection.
Furthermore, the treacherous complicity of the French authorities goes as far as accusing us of false allegations and defamation, tactics previously used by the Moroccan regime from which we sought political asylum, among other reasons.
Recently, we obtained highly confidential documents proving the intention of the French authorities, in collaboration with their Moroccan counterparts, to persecute us for as long as possible, in order to harm us and silence our voices under the pretext of maintaining bilateral relations between the two countries.
We hold the Moroccan regime and the French State responsible for all the persecution we have endured for the past two years on French soil and for whatever happens to us while we remain in France.
We announce that we have begun an open-ended hunger strike, starting on Friday, June 2, 2023, and it will only end when we are safe and our rights as political refugees are respected.
We call on relevant organizations and democratic states to assist us in our resettlement, as outlined in the Geneva Convention, to a safe country that will respect our rights as political refugees, our dignity as human beings, and our freedom of expression.
We are conducting our hunger strike in a private location, rather than a public place where we would be exposed to the worst forms of retribution from Morocco and its allies.
Paris, June 2, 2023