In a non-binding text very widely adopted in Strasbourg (356 votes for, 32 against and 42 abstentions), the European Parliament "urges" the Moroccan authorities to "respect freedom of expression and freedom of the media" and to "guarantee imprisoned journalists (...) a fair trial".

MEPs insist in particular on the case of Omar Radi.

This independent journalist known for his positions critical of power was arrested in 2020 and sentenced on appeal in March to six years in prison for "rape" and "espionage", charges he has always denied.

"Many defense rights were not respected, which taints the whole trial with unfairness and bias", consider the MEPs, who are asking for his provisional release, as well as that of Taoufik Bouachrine, another imprisoned journalist.

They also demand "an end to the harassment of all journalists in the country".

The Moroccan authorities assure them that justice is independent and that the convictions of journalists "have nothing to do" with their journalistic work.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the contrary denounced in July the development of "underhanded techniques of repression" against opponents.

This resolution concerning the media in Morocco also mentions Rabat's alleged involvement in the corruption scandal that has shaken the European Parliament since December.

The European Parliament says it is "deeply concerned" by "the allegations that the Moroccan authorities have corrupted members of the European Parliament".

He reaffirms his determination to "fully investigate cases of corruption involving third countries seeking influence in the European Parliament".

Like Doha, the Cherifian kingdom has strongly contested these allegations of corruption.

© 2023 AFP