Students Protests for Western Sahara Independence Draw Crackdowns

Sahrawi with flag. Credit: Creative Commons

Sahrawi with flag. Credit: Creative Commons

Al Fanar News and Opinion about Arabic Higher Education
Brennan Weiss / 06 Oct 2015

AGADIR, Morocco–In a small, dilapidated apartment in Agadir, in southern Morocco, student activists are meeting in secret. In defiance of the country’s authorities, they are planning protests for the independence of a disputed territory claimed by Morocco that is commonly called the Western Sahara.(cont.)

Al Fanar News and Opinion article>>

HRW issues statement on Morocco’s demand for HRW to cease activities in their country

Human Rights Watch, October 2, 2015
Statement Regarding Human Rights Watch Activities in Morocco
(Tunis) – Human Rights Watch issued the following statement on October 2, 2015, in response to a demand from the Moroccan government to suspend Human Rights Watch activities in the country:

“Human Rights Watch is disappointed with the demand from the Morocco government’s spokesman in a letter dated September 23, 2015, that Human Rights Watch suspend its activities in the country, and with the letter’s unspecified accusations of bias. (cont.)

HRW Statement >>

African Union Statement, 26 September 2015

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), 547th meeting 26 September 2015,

The Peace and Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, adopted the following decision on the situation in Western Sahara:
1. Takes note of the briefing given by the Commission on the situation in Western Sahara, as well as of the statement made by the representative of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR);
2. Recalls its earlier pronouncements on the situation in Western Sahara,

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Mona Khizam was the guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of the Australia Western Sahara Association (Victoria)

DSC02877The Annual General Meeting of the Australia Western Sahara Association (Victoria) was held on 1 October in Melbourne.

Mona Khizam’s talk, entitled “Sahara Libre – Camp Notes” was based on experiences during a visit in 2009 with a Swedish study group from the Jakobsbergs Folkhôgskola to the Saharawi Refugee Camps. Mona showed the audience items illustrating Saharawi culture, including an incense burner, some jewellery, a leather tobacco pouch etc.
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Hillary Clinton, Phosphates and Western Sahara

Professor Stephen Zunes, The Huffington Post 30 September 2015

Stephen Zunes writes of Morocco’s continuing violation of the UN codification of the rights of non-self-governing people to control their own natural resources. This longstanding international legal principle involves the nation of Western Sahara, the former Spanish colony invaded, occupied, and annexed by Morocco in 1975. (…cont.)

Professor Stephen Zunes report >>

Unilateral Declaration by Polisario under API accepted by Swiss Federal Council

by Katharine Fortin, Armed Groups and International Law, September 2, 2015

On 21 June 2015, the Polisario Front made the unilateral declaration on behalf of the people of Western Sahara to the Swiss Federal Council that it undertook to apply the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I to the conflict between it and the Kingdom of Morocco. Remarkably it is the very first time that the Swiss Federal Council has accepted such a declaration by a national liberation movement and a non State entity under international law.

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South African President calls on the UN to determine a date for the referendum

South African President Mr Jacob Zuma

South African President Mr Jacob Zuma

Sahara Press Service, Pretoria (South Africa), Sept 15, 2015 (SPS)
The South African President, Mr. Jacob Zuma called today on the United Nations to set a date for a referendum of the Saharawi people to decide their fate, in his speech on International Relations Peace and Security to Heads of Missions and Media in Pretoria.(…cont.)

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Is Europe complicit in the plundering of Western Sahara

Johannes Hautaviita, The Empire Files 17 September 2015

Photo: Sahara Press Service

Photo: Sahara Press Service

In a recent development, which is all too familiar, an Irish oil company San Leon Energy began drilling south of Morocco’s border, on the north-western coast of occupied Western Sahara. For the oil drilling – and other resource extraction – to have legal validity, however, it ought to be carried out with the consent and in the interest of the occupied population.
The Sahrawi people have explicitly stated their opposition to San Leon’s activities.(…cont.)

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Monarchy’s red lines gag Morocco’s independent media

Reporters Without Borders, 17 September 2015

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about the current state of freedom of information in the Kingdom of Morocco, where French President François Hollande is due to begin a two-day visit on Saturday.
Moroccan journalists who violate the taboos on criticizing Islam, the monarchy or the country’s claim to Western Sahara are liable to receive heavy fines or long jail terms.