Morocco denounced what it described as a dubious media campaign that promotes rumors that Morocco is using spyware to target and spy on journalists and dissidents.
The Moroccan authorities have challenged Amnesty International, the Forbidden stories coalition, as well as those who support them and those under their protection, to provide the slightest tangible evidence to support their account.
This came in a statement by the Moroccan government, which stated that it rejects these false allegations, which are completely unfounded.
The government statement, which was reported by the newspaper “Hespress”, clarified that Morocco has again become vulnerable to this type of attack, which exposes the will of some media circles and non-governmental organizations to place it under their command and tutelage, noting that “what angers them is that this is not possible.”
The Moroccan government also affirmed that “the Kingdom, which has made great achievements in many fields in recent years, will continue to move forward on the path it has charted to enhance its economic renaissance and social development.”
The statement concluded that “Morocco, strong in its rights, and convinced of the relevance of its position, chose to take the legal and judicial endeavor in Morocco and at the international level, to stand up to any party seeking to exploit these false allegations.”
And an investigative investigation published last Sunday, and based on data obtained by the non-profit organization “Forbidden Stories of Paris” and “Amnesty International”, revealed that activists, journalists and politicians in many countries of the world, including Morocco, were targeted with spying operations by the “Pegasus” program. To spy on cell phones developed by the Israeli company NSO
And the French Press Agency said in a report that French President Emmanuel Macron and Moroccan King Mohammed VI are likely to be “on the list of potential targets” of the Israeli “Pegasus” spying program.
On Tuesday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Paris announced the opening of an investigation into what media reports revealed about spying on French journalists whose phones were hacked through the “Pegasus” program developed by the Israeli company, NSO Group.
Information from the media group indicates Morocco’s involvement in spying on these two journalists, which Rabat denies.
On Tuesday, the director of the non-governmental organization Forbidden Stories, Laurent Richard, said that the phone numbers of French President Emmanuel Macron and members of his government are on the list of potential targets of the “Pegasus” program that some countries used to spy on personalities, confirming this information reported by Le Monde newspaper.
The newspaper revealed that these numbers, some of which belong to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and 14 members of the government, were “on the list of numbers chosen by a Moroccan state security service that uses the Pegasus spy program to carry out a possible hack.”
“We found these phone numbers, but of course we were not able to conduct a technical investigation of Emmanuel Macron’s phone,” Richard told ECI news channel, which means that “this does not confirm to us whether the president was actually spying.”
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International have obtained a list of 50,000 phone numbers chosen by customers of the Israeli company NSO Group since 2016 with the aim of carrying out possible espionage operations. The two organizations shared it with a group of 17 media outlets that revealed this issue on Sunday.
“Extremely dangerous” facts .. Mohamed VI and Macron
In response to a question by Agence France-Presse, the French presidency said that “if these facts prove true, they are certainly very dangerous.”
For its part, the investigative unit of Radio France, which is among a group of media outlets that exposed the scandal, revealed that it is possible that King Mohammed VI of Morocco and those close to him are “on the list of potential targets” of the “Pegasus” program.
According to the Washington Post, which is in turn among the group, the list includes the telephone numbers of the Iraqi presidents Barham Salih and South African Cyril Ramaphosa.
The American newspaper also reported that the list includes the current prime ministers of Pakistan, Imran Khan, Mustafa Madbouly of Egypt, Saad Eddin El Othmani of Morocco, and seven former prime ministers, including the Lebanese Saad Hariri, the Ugandan Rohakana Rugunda and the Belgian Charles Michel.
The media group revealed that the current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, when he was an opposition leader, fell victim to spying by the program by the government of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).
On Tuesday, Lopez Obrador declared that “espionage should be in the service of fighting crime and protecting citizens, not monitoring opponents, political leaders, party leaders, heads of major companies and churches.”
An investigation published on Sunday by the media group revealed that the Moroccan intelligence had spied on the founder of “Mediapar” Eduy Blenil and the journalist on the site, Lynayeg Perdue, who are among 180 journalists around the world whose phones were hacked by various intelligence services through the “Pegasus” program.
On Monday, the site filed a complaint based on that information. The newspaper “Le Canard Enchaine” also decided to file a complaint.
After she filed complaints internationally, Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint in Paris. The organization is particularly responsible for defending the French-Moroccan dissident journalists Omar Brooksi and Maati Monjib, who were targeted with spying by “Pegasus”.
In an article published on Monday, Mediabar said that the purpose of the espionage was an attempt to “silence independent journalists in Morocco by learning the method of our investigations.”
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