Speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum, Ahmed Benchemsi draws a subtle distinction between what was labeled as a regional model by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the undemocratic reality of the Moroccan regime, which is based on the sanctity of the King. Benchemsi uses anecdotes from his past experience as the Director of Telquel Magazine and Nichane to reveal the true nature of the Moroccan regime, and to decry the persistent violations of human rights in the country. Ahmed Benchemsi also exposes the duplicity of State media, which deliberately engages in a daily “brainwashing propaganda” that sustains the cult of personality and asserts the quasi-divinity of the King.
Despite these challenges, Ahmed Benchemsi expresses his hope that democratic change will take place peacefully in Morocco. He concludes by subscribing to one of the slogans raised by a young Moroccan woman during the initial Feb20 protests: “Long live the King…and please let us people live as well.”