Morocco World News
New York, October 10, 2012
Ma?tre Pierre Legros, lawyer of the Rachidi family denounced Tuesday in New York, before the 4th Committee of the UN the ?sordid manipulation? of the ?Polisario? who did not hesitate to use a tragic event to serve its anti-Moroccan propaganda.
The case dates back to November 2010, when the Spanish TV channel Antena 3 released a photograph obtained through the ?Polisario?, showing, in an ill-intentioned manner, the bodies of four people brutally killed in Casablanca as those of a Sahrawi family killed by Moroccan police forces during the incident of Laayoune on 8 November 2010.
?Taken in January 26, 2010 in Casablanca by the Moroccan polices forces after a mentally ill person brutally murdered four members of his family in their apartment, this photo was broadcast by the Spanish TV channel to illustrate the alleged violence of Moroccan police against Sahrawis,? continued the former president of the Bar of Brussels, who welcomed the fact that the relatives of the victims, Belgians of Moroccan origin, have been restored to their right.
?Today, the members of the Rachidi family, doubly hit by the tragedy, have received compensation for the damage suffered after the broadcast by Spanish channel of the photo of the murder,? said Mr. Legros, also founder of the association ?lawyers without borders.?
?Despite two press conferences, a demand of the right of reply and warnings to the Spanish TV station, the latter continued its dissemination of this unbearable report for the Rachidi family, who filed a lawsuit against Antena 3 for forgery and fraudulent use of photography,? Mr. Legros added.
The court of first instance of Brussels, seized by the family of the victims condemned the channel last June to pay 300,000 euros in damages to the family ?for having released repeatedly this photo taken out of context in order to manipulate public opinion.?
The lawyer welcomed this decision of ?paramount importance?, adding that if ?freedom of the press is fundamental, the journalist can?t, however, manipulate public opinion through misinformation.?
?These practices remind us of the worst manipulations maintained by totalitarian regimes,? he concluded.