Women’s Lives on the Line

A Le Soir journalist and one of his victims

Le Soir is the voice of Belgium’s establishment. An American friend who used to work for The Wall Street Journal in Brussels and is now a free-lance writer on international terrorism returned to Brussels last week to discover that his furnished apartment, which, while travelling abroad to Iraq, Afghanistan and various other places, he had let for a year to an Irish journalist working for Le Soir, had been almost stripped. His beautiful crockery had disappeared, as well as part of his furniture, posters and drawings, and many of his books. The man from Le Soir had also cashed the money which our friend had sent him on a monthly basis to pay the phone and internet bills, so that telephone and cable connections had been cut off.


Looking at the havoc in my friend’s apartment one is amazed at the dishonesty of some people. On the other hand I must admit that I am not surprised. I should have warned my friend to beware of Le Soir people. The paper is as corrupt as the country it represents and this, I believe, is no wonder, for it takes utterly corrupted people to defend utterly corrupted mechanisms and structures.

The Brussels Journal reported earlier about the more than eighty poor Moroccan women who had been betrayed by Philippe Servaty, a Le Soir journalist. While Servaty walks free in Belgium, the women in Morocco ended up committing suicide or being killed by their disgraced families, or locked up as whores in Moroccan jails.

The conditions in Moroccan prisons are well-known. What is currently happening to Servaty’s victims is horrific. Those who survive their one-year sentence (and two of them are reported to have already tried to commit suicide in jail) will leave as wrecks. I have known a Belgian who spent some months in a Moroccan prison and left with tuberculosis and his health ruined. And he had been lucky because he had occasionally received food packages from his family in Belgium. Jails in Morocco are notoriously barbaric and cruel (filth, rats, harassment by prison guards) and the women, imprisoned as whores and abandoned by their families, are suffering.

I contacted some feminist women’s groups in the United States, such as NOW, the National Organization of Women,  believing they would launch campaigns for their Moroccan sisters, perhaps even raise money for legal assistance. The only thing they seem concerned about, however, are abortion “rights:” “Justice O’Connor Resigns… Women’s Lives on the Line” their website says. I know some women’s lives who are really on the line, but NOW does not seem to be interested.

Perhaps NOW considers it to be Le Soir’s moral obligation to start a campaign in support of the jailed women in Morocco. Any decent paper would do so if one of its employees had disgraced it, but Le Soir knows neither decency nor morality. Its only concern is the survival of the corrupt artificial Belgian state, not the survival of dozens of women in Morocco whose lives were wrecked by one of its major journalists.