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Moroccan Newspaper Takes On AFP Over Biased Reporting

French State Press Agency accused of reserving incriminating coverage against Morocco

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RABATAgence France Presse (AFP) has been called out for abandoning its professional, ethical and deontological obligations in the treatment of Algerian news and persists, on the contrary, in providing incriminating and biased coverage against the Kingdom of Morocco.

In an editorial under the title “Flagrant delict: the French State Press Agency (AFP) persists in exonerating the Algerian regime and charging Morocco”, Le Matin ( “The Morning”) newspaper underlines that it is increasingly worrying to note that AFP persists in sparing Algeria by reserving, unlike Morocco, preferential and most accommodating treatment, despite the adoption on Thursday in Strasbourg, of a resolution condemning without appeal the  rogue regime sitting in Algiers.

Recalling that the European Parliament (EP) condemned Algeria last week by an overwhelming majority of votes (536 for, 4 against and 18 abstentions), found guilty of repressing the freedoms of the press and of expression, as evidenced by the case of journalist Ihsane El Kadi, sentenced on 2nd April to five years in prison.

The publication writes that AFP had, in its dispatch on the EP’s incongruous resolution concerning Morocco, deliberately used language very critical of the Kingdom, presenting MEPs as having “strongly criticized” and “demanded” action against the country.

On the other hand, continues the newspaper, the French Agency in its dispatch on the EP resolution condemning Algeria did a more toned down language grid, contenting itself with affirming that the MEPs “have asked” and ‘call upon Algeria.’ “This difference in treatment in the choice of terms is intended to lead to an erroneous perception of the real situation in the two countries”, declares the Daily.

And the newspaper notes that the contrast between the said resolution and the AFP dispatch did not fail to arouse the astonishment of observers, who point the finger at this systematic relentlessness and this flagrant partiality of Agence France Presse against Morocco, and its worldwide interests and wonder, once again, about the reasons for its partiality in the treatment of Moroccan news.

According to the publication, the tendentious treatment of AFP against Morocco is thus in line with the French political and media pressure deployed to attenuate the content of the European Parliament resolution against Algeria, and reminds African nations of the many years campaign Paris had against Kigali since mid-1994.

On this point, “The Morning” explains that the usual maneuvers carried out in the spans of the legislative institution and in certain European capitals have not had the expected success, to the great displeasure of certain MEPs and other French political and media circles, who have obviously not spared any effort.

The editorial recalls that leading French media had affirmed, without being contradicted, that the presidency of the Renew group in the EP, close to the French government, succeeded initially in withdrawing the draft resolution against the Algeria from the EP’s agenda. It specifies that this information has been confirmed with other media by two political sources within the European institution.

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BT Correspondent
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