In democracy, journalists’ misconduct can not pass unnoticed, those who commit this fault can be prosecuted. The very serious professional faults committed by certain important newspapers and the Spanish audiovisual while covering the bloody events of Laâyoune on the 8th November, 2010, have aroused again in Belgium this week. The newspaper “le Soir” and the press agency “Belga” have taken over on Thursday by reserving their space to the Belgio-Moroccan family Rachidi who are determined to bring proceedings against the Spanish TV “Antena3” and the “Europa Press” agency for the publishing and broadcasting of false information. Antena 3 and Europa Press have diffused photos of bodies covered with blood, presenting them as if they were victims of the Moroccan order forces in Laâyoune events, while in reality, the photo was that of four members from the Rachidi family cowardly assassinated in last January in Casablanca.
“The Rachidi family has decided to take legal action against Antena3, at the civil and penal levels, in Spain and probably also in Belgium », as written by the newspaper “Le Soir” in an article subtitled “false dead bodies in the Sahara”. The lower of the Rachidi family, Mr. Pierre Legros has not lost hope in obtaining damages, invoking the lack of professional ethics, on the one hand, and the insulting behaviour towards the persons killed in this family, on the other hand. “The members of Rachidi family were deeply shocked and hurt by the Antena3 broadcasting of disfigured bodies used to illustrate a thesis which seems to be a political one, without verifying the sources, has declared Mr. Legros. It concerns swindling or the use of a photo document to impress and mislead the spectators” as explicated by Mr. Legros. Rachida, a member of the Rachidi family, who is living at Etterbeek (Brussels commune) was watching TV when she could recognize her relatives covered with blood. “It was as if they were killed a second time”, has she declared to the newspaper Le Soir. She is accusing Antena3 of having shown, for political reasons, to what extent the Moroccan policemen were cruel during their intervention to demolish the Gdim Izik camp and to re-establish order in the city of Laâyoune. Le Soir recalls to mind, about the same concern, that the Spanish newspapers have also broadcasted another cliché representing two Palestinian children injured in 2006, in Gaza, which they tried to pass as Sahrawi children victims of Moroccan order forces. Even if the EFE agency which has sold the image to many Spanish newspapers, has recognized afterwards, to have committed a “professional mistake”, it was too late as harm was already done.