The tragic death of Zahra, a Moroccan migrant worker who came to pick strawberries in Spain

International — Report

On May 1st a bus overturned in the Huelva province of southern Spain. On board were Moroccan agricultural workers on their way to pick strawberries at one of the huge farms in the region. One of the workers, a woman with five young children, lost her life. Mediapart went to meet some of the crash survivors, who condemned the appalling working conditions they have to endure. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

French armed forces minister was also targeted by Pegasus spyware

France — Investigation

France’s former armed forces minister Florence Parly was unknowingly targeted while in office by the secret Pegasus spyware, sold to governments by Israeli surveillance technology firm NSO Group, bringing the total number of French ministers whose phones were infected with the eavesdropping tool – along with that of President Emmanuel Macron – to seven, Mediapart has learnt. A judicial investigation has established that at least 23 people in France, including journalists as well as politicians, fell victim to the spyware between 2019 and 2020. Fabrice Arfi and Ellen Salvi report.

EU parliament scandal: Morocco spared by MEPs but probe closes in


Revelations in the so-called “Qatargate” corruption scandal engulfing the European Parliament this month, involving past and present members of the chamber, including its former vice-president, are snowballing. While the Belgian authorities continue investigations into those implicated in an alleged Qatari slush-fund used to buy favours from EU lawmakers, MEPs have suspended all legislative work in connection with Qatar, and withdrawn access to the institution by the Gulf State’s representatives. But they shied from including Morocco in the sanctions, despite growing evidence of its involvement in the influence peddling. Mediapart's European affairs correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports.  

Boy run over and killed after France win in World Cup tie

France — Link

Police in Montpellier, southern France, are hunting for the driver of a car which ran into and killed a young teenage boy during clashes which followed Wednesday evening's World Cup match between France and Morocco

Abdellatif Hammouchi: Morocco's spy chief at the heart of the Pegasus affair

International — Analysis

The Pegasus scandal has helped throw a spotlight on the repressive regime in Morocco, which is accused of using the Israeli-made spyware to target the phones of thousands of people, including politicians and journalists in France. In particular it has focused attention on the North African kingdom's top cop and spy chief Abdellatif Hammouchi and his role in the affair. As Mediapart reports, this key figure in the Moroccan state apparatus is feared in many Western capitals, including Paris.

Pegasus Affair: Morocco sues Amnesty and Forbidden Stories for defamation

France — Link

The legal action follows revelations that its intelligence services used the Pegasus mobile phone spyware against dozens of French journalists. 

France's compromising and cosy relationship with Morocco's repressive regime

International — Analysis

The Pegasus spyware revelations show how Morocco has targeted at least 10,000 mobile phones in recent years. These include the phones of several dozen French citizens, including journalists, the president of the Republic Emmanuel Macron and government ministers and senior opposition figures. Yet for the last thirty years the political, media and cultural elites here in France have closed their eyes to the repressive behaviour of the North African monarchy. Lénaïg Bredoux and Iyes Ramdani report.

What the Pegasus spyware tells us about Morocco: a dictatorship in all but name


The revelations about the use made by certain countries of the Pegasus spyware against journalists around the world have focused attention on Morocco's close surveillance of the media. As Mediapart – itself a victim of Moroccan spying - here reveals, the North African kingdom's clampdown targets not just independent journalists and publications but human rights activists too. The regime has also cynically made use of the #MeToo movement and the subsequent heightened global awareness about sexual and sexist violence to discredit those who criticise and oppose it by manipulating or fabricating evidence of a sexual nature.

How Morocco spied on Mediapart journalists using Pegasus spyware


Mediapart has started legal action after revelations that two of our journalists had their phone hacked with the Pegasus spyware by the Moroccan secret services. The software, made by Israeli firm NSO Group, was sold to government clients around the world and was supposedly to be used only to “fight serious crime and terrorism”. But a date leak and investigations by various media around the world show that some countries drew up lists of telephone numbers that could be targeted with the spyware – and these lists include many journalists. Among them are Mediapart's co-founder and publishing editor Edwy Plenel and reporter Lénaïg Bredoux.  Analysis has shown their phones were infected with the spyware by Moroccan agents in 2019 and 2020. Mediapart has filed a formal complaint with the state prosecutor in Paris, which has now opened a criminal investigation. Meanwhile it has also emerged that French president Emmanuel Macron's phone was targeted with the spyware by Morocco in 2019. 

Little rejoicing as Moroccan king marks two decades on the throne

International — Analysis

Moroccan King Mohammed VI this week celebrates the 20th anniversary of his reign. The 55-year-old monarch chose to avoid any ostentatious ceremonies, reflecting the sombre social climate in the country where, by his own admission, past policies for the country’s development have proved “incapable of satisfying the pressing demands and growing needs of citizens”. Rachida El Azzouzi and Ali Amar from Mediapart’s Moroccan media partner Le Desk analyse the vast challenges facing the North African kingdom, prone to mounting social revolt, where Mohammed VI once represented a future of hope after the dark years of the reign of his father, Hassan II.

Friend of French prime minister to stand trial after 'assaulting' policeman

France — Investigation

A friend of French prime minister Édouard Philippe was arrested and placed in custody on Sunday June 23rd for having reportedly hit an off-duty police officer. According to legal sources he was, unusually, freed just a few hours later after having claimed – falsely - that he was the premier's diplomatic advisor. He is now due to face trial in November on charges that include passing himself off as a ministerial advisor. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget and Matthieu Suc report

From Guinea to Bayonne: the long journey of two youths seeking France's protection

France — Report

Authorities in the French city of Bayonne are struggling to cope with the number of migrants coming from across the nearby Spanish border. Mediapart met Joseph and Moriba, 'blood  brothers' who are seeking France's protection after nearly dying at sea crossing to Europe from Morocco. After a legal battle, Joseph has now been recognised as a minor by the French courts while Moriba's request will be heard on appeal shortly. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

Moroccan police called in to deal with foreign youngsters on Paris streets

France — Investigation

Dozens of Moroccan youths roam the Goutte d'Or district of Paris, where they are both the authors and victims of violence and have been making life a misery for local inhabitants. Unable to cope, over the summer the French authorities called on Moroccan police officers to help arrange possible repatriation of some of the youngsters. Rachida El Azzouzi and Mathilde Mathieu report on a policy that has alarmed some local support groups.

Moroccan king undergoes heart surgery in France

France — Link

King Mohammed VI of Morocco underwent a medical operation on Monday in France for an irregular heartbeat.

Why President Macron chose Morocco for his first visit outside Europe

International — Analysis

Emmanuel Macron's first visit beyond Europe as French head of state was to Morocco, where anti-corruption protests have caused unprecedented unrest over the past seven months. The visit brought succour to the embattled kingdom but was also a little unsettling for Rabat, which has yet to fully understand the new Macron administration. But it was essentially a trip to signal continuity in Franco-Moroccan relations. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.