Our reply to @Amnesty #International - #Spain in response to their "explanation" for blocking Moroccan IP addresses (RE: ongoing email campaign against the misleading charge of #torture by #Morocco) Reply from @Amnesty #International - #Spain in response to our ongoing email campaign against the misleading charge of #torture by #Morocco):
Thank you for your familiar response by my first name. I will respond likewise with the assumption that such response on your part has laid the foundation for an honest and open correspondence. That said, you will appreciate my frank and direct reply. I do appreciate that your organization has decided to unblock IP addresses coming specifically from Morocco, however to describe this targeted censorship as "partial closure" is disingenuous at best.
Discriminating against a specific country and preventing freedom of expression of an entire population based on country of origin is censorship - plain and simple. As you and I both know, there is the capability to block specific users should you determine their posts are, as you have classified them, spam. Your charge of spamming is inflammatory and only adds insult to injury.
I would further assert the irresponsible party in this discussion has been Amnistia Internacional Espana. To describe Morocco as a tortuous state contradicts all responsible international assessments of the progress and positive trajectory of advancements made in Moroccan human rights monitoring, reparations, and improvements. In fact, they rate higher in those efforts than your own country. For reference, please read the latest report from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.
The efforts of proud Moroccans to provide evidence of those facts and to offer conflicting and comparative documentation of this contradiction is the very definition of "responsible" commentary. A simple apology, for an inaccurate blanket campaign lightly veiled as support for one named individual, would have been more acceptable. An apology is still expected from my perspective.
Further, use of the Moroccan flag is disrespectful of an entire country of people - not merely an attack on a government whose singular judicial decision you disagree with. A flag is more than cloth stitched together to represent a country. It is the symbol of the people who live under that representation - their hopes, sacrifices, hardships, moral ethics, lives lost, and dreams for the future. By using the flag in your campaign, you have grouped all Moroccans into a biased, incomplete and inaccurate portrayal as supporters of torture. It is unacceptable and unprofessional.
The imagery and fierce campaign against Morocco is counter-productive. Morocco is the sole country that has remained stable and tranquil after the turmoils in the Arab world. It has introduced significant reforms and put them into practice. These reforms, at the economic level, have demonstrated a PIB growth of nearly 4% in spite of the grave situation in the region. Rating agencies confirm the country's financial stability. Presenting Morocco as a brutal country attacks one of the most important stability actors in the whole region, likewise sharing borders with Europe, especially Spain.
So to be clear, here are our expectations:
1. Reports of international NGOs publicly state that torture in Morocco, even if it happens, is not systematic. The use of the flag image suggests the opposite of that position. This image denigrates 40 million Moroccans and brands them as torturers. We demand that this image must be removed and not used in the future.
2. The decision to block Moroccan IP addresses was a hostile act and is against the principles of Amnesty guidelines. Further, to refer to Moroccan comments as "spam" is inaccurate and a blatant attempt to excuse this egregious act - 900 opposite opinions did not constitute spam. We demand that an apology is expressed and made public by your organization.
Until such time as these two key issues are addressed, we do not intend to drop the matter. Although your response is appreciated, it is insufficient and lacks genuine consideration of the harm your organization has caused - not only to the Moroccan people, but also the region and the reputation of Amnesty International.
I sincerely hope that you and your organization will rectify the situation by removing the degrading image of the Moroccan flag, and offer the people of the world a public apology for the decision to use censorship on your Facebook page.
Best Regards, Elaine W. Obenshain and the undersigned
@Lehcen10 @SaharaQuestion @MoroccanSahara1 @LeMarokain @SaharaMarocainB @StolenSahraoui @Ri0de0r0 @PolisarioTID
Office of the High Commissioner for #Human #Rights