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A Dutch MPs delegation to reportedly visit Al Hoceima but without Kati Piri

A social media post reported that Dutch MEP Kati Piri is visiting Al Hoceima this week to meet Moroccan politicians and human rights defenders. Some of them told Yabiladi that a Dutch delegation will indeed fly to the city but without Piri who also denied the news.

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Dutch MEP Kati Piri and the parents of Hirak detainee Nasser Zefzafi. / DR

Over the weekend, a Facebook post claimed that the Dutch MEP, known for her support of Hirak activists, is expected to go on a two-day visit to the city of Al Hoceima.

The post, which was widely shared online, included a detailed program for said visit, reporting that Hungarian-born Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament for the Netherlands since July 2014 Kati Piri is going to meet, in Al Hoceima, with a local association and Hirak detainees’ families, including the parents Hirak figurehead Nasser Zefzafi.

The printed program, which was photographed and posted to social media, indicates also that Piri will be meeting the Secretary General of the Unified Socialist Party Nabila Mounib alongside Mustapha Brahma, Secretary General of Marxist political party «Democratic Way» and his sister Souad Brahma, who is also a member of the party.

Aziz Ghali, president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), will attend the same meeting, according to the same post which misspelled the name of the Dutch MEP.

Shortly after the posting of said program, Kati Piri took to her Facebook account, questioning its authenticity. On Sunday, Piri wrote on her Facebook that it is «important to respond to fake news», stressing that the program in question is «made up».

«Someone said I am already going to visit Al Hoceima and published a program about it. Interesting, I did know anything about this myself», she said. «I would love to visit the Rif and show support for the detainees’ families (…) I am also consulting the Moroccan Embassy in Brussels to get the needed authorization for an official visit, unfortunately I still have no news about this», she explained in the same post.

A Dutch Mps delegation to reportedly visit Al Hoceima

Surprisingly, the names that appeared in the alleged program had a different say. Contacted by Yabiladi, most of these names stressed that they were «as surprised by said post» as the Dutch MEP, adding that they «don’t know the origins of this schedule».

However, Mustapha Brahma told Yabiladi, Monday, that unlike what was shared online, a Dutch MPs delegation is indeed visiting Al Hoceima today. According to him, «Kati Piri is not among the politicians visiting the city».

Brahma said that he is currently in Al Hoceima to welcome said delegation, indicating that it consists of «MPs from the higher and lower chambers of the Dutch parliament».

Meanwhile, AMDH president Aziz Ghali said that his NGO «has nothing to do with the fake program shared online». He also reported that he is one of the people expected to meet a Dutch delegation, visiting Al Hoceima this afternoon.

«There is indeed a parliamentary delegation visiting Al Hoceima today, in order to discuss Hirak within the framework of international mobilization», he said, adding that «Kati Piri is not part of it».

For the record, Kati Piri has been one of the Dutch MEPs who campaigned in favor of Hirak detainees in the European Parliament. In 2018, she led a campaign within the European Socialist Group to support Nasser Zefzafi's candidacy for the Zakharov Prize.

During the same year, Kati Piri and another Dutch MP were not allowed to visit Al Hoceima, where they planned to meet Hirak detainees’ families.

In May 2019, a Piri launched a symbolic campaign to give streets and avenues in the Netherlands names of Hirak detainees.

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