Amnesty International (AI) has asked the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, to raise with Moroccan highest authorities the issue of human rights during his official visit to Morocco July 15 to 17.
The request came in a statement released by Amnesty on the eve of the royal visit.
The topics, timing and methodology chosen by AI to convey its messages to Morocco, have always raised questions as to the innocence of the act. This time, AI seems to have gone a little far in the exercise of its tasks.
A former Latin American diplomat criticized Amnesty International for trying to make the Spanish sovereign play its own role of human rights advocate with Moroccan authorities, seeming to forget that Morocco is a sovereign country and is no longer under Spanish dominion and that the colonial era is well gone.
Then, why did the international NGO, which defends human rights and also the respect of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, choose to convey its message through the King of Spain instead of directly addressing the Moroccan government?
According to the former diplomat, this question finds its answer in the fact that the move was not made at AI’s own initiative, but was reportedly dictated by a third party which seeks to tarnish Morocco’s image with regard to human rights matters in a bid to weaken its position in the negotiations on the settlement of the Sahara conflict.
But King Juan Carlos and his advisers were not fooled. As they quickly realized that AI wanted to entrap them they simply ignored the request. The Polisario leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz, and his Algerian mentors are surely lamenting this missed opportunity.