Saharawi Association of Victims of Human Rights Abuses at last allowed to register officially

Human Rights Watch, 24 August 2015

(Rabat) – Moroccan authorities have for the first time allowed a Sahrawi human rights organization fiercely critical of the government to legally register. ASVDH, the Saharawi Association of Victims of Human Rights Abuses has been applying for this registration for the last 10 years Human Rights Watch reports.

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Mariem Hassan’s Farewell from Smara camp

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AWSA regrets to announce the sad death of Saharawi singer, Mariem Hassan, whose powerful singing made her “the voice of the Sahara”.

Here is a message from Mariem’s agents Nubenegra.
“On 6th of August Mariem Hassan returned to the refugee camps and on Saturday morning (22 August 2015) she died in her family circle in the refugee camp Smara (Tindouf, Algeria).
She knew that she had no chance against the bone cancer, but she never gave up to fight against the injustice of her occupied homeland since 1975
with her unforgettable voice around the world.

Before passing away Mariem wanted to say goodbye,
Her Farewell has been published on YouTube

Listen to Mariem Hassan broadcasts on ABC Radio National

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Occupied Territory – Breaking the Media Blackout in Western Sahara

Moroccan-security-forces-chargeBy Karlos Zurutuza
IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
LAAYOUNE, Occupied Western Sahara, Aug 23 2015 (IPS)

Ahmed Ettanji is looking for a flat in downtown Laayoune, a city 1,100 km south of Rabat. He only wants it for one day but it must have a rooftop terrace overlooking the square that will host the next pro-Sahrawi demonstration. “Rooftop terraces are essential for us as they are the only places from which we can get a graphic testimony …(cont.)

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Is Sidi Mohamed Dadach North Africa’s Mandela?

1_15Middle East Eye
Karlos Zurutuza
Wednesday 19 August 2015
This Sahrawi’s life story is one of imprisonment and resistance since day one of the occupation of his land, 40 years ago

LAAYOUNE, Western Sahara – Naman Street is one of the very few tree-lined avenues in Laayoune. The local Sahrawis, however, call it “Dadach” in honour of Sidi Mohamed Dadach, a famous dissident who was received here by thousands after spending 24 years in Moroccan prisons.

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Western Sahara: Significant resolution achieved at ALP conference, Melbourne 2015

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At the ALP conference held in Melbourne on 24-26 July 2015 the following resolution was passed:

This conference:

• Strongly supports the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination;
• Expresses concerns about reports of human rights abuses in Western Sahara, including by Human Rights Watch and Resolution 282 moved this year by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
• Calls on all parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law;
• Urges the UN to use its mission in Western Sahara to monitor and uphold human rights, and ensure that any use of the natural resources of Western Sahara is in accordance with the wishes of the Saharawi people and for their benefit;
• Calls on the UN to proceed without further delay with the organisation of the long overdue referendum of self-determination;
• Urges the Australian Government to extend all due assistance to the UN in its efforts to organise a free and fair referendum in Western Sahara, and to maintain an appropriate dialogue with the Polisario Front, UN-acknowledged representatives of the people of Western Sahara.

Trade Agreements, EU Law, and Occupied Territories – A Report on Polisario v Council

EJIL Analysis, July 1, 2015
Geraldo Vidigal, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg

Vidigal writes “Speaking of occupied territories, an interesting judgment should soon come from the General Court of the European Union (GC) in Action for Annulment Frente Polisario v Council (Case T-512/12), a case with fascinating international law aspects. I attended the hearing last week and think it warrants a report….(cont.)”

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Saharawi women take to the streets

By Karlos Zurutuza
Inter Press Service News Agency

LAAYOUNE, Occupied Western Sahara, Jul 17 2015 (IPS) – Ten women are gathered to discuss how to transmit Sahrawi culture and tradition to the younger generations. As usual, it´s a secret meeting. There is no other way in the capital of Western Sahara.

Rabab Lamin chose the place and the date for this latest meeting of the Forum for the Future of Sahrawi Women, an underground organisation yet seemingly far from being disorganised.

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Leaked cables: Morocco lobbied UN to turn blind eye

Leaked cables: Morocco lobbied UN to turn blind eye to Western Sahara in ‘House of Cards’ operation
Joe Sandler Clarke and Katherine Purvis
The Guardian, Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Moroccan government intercepted United Nations communications and used “unethical tactics” in a “House of Cards”-style operation designed to get the organisation to turn a blind eye to the humanitarian situation in Western Sahara, according to a leaked UN report.
The leaked report is a UN analysis of correspondence between the Moroccan government and the country’s permanent ambassador to the UN in Geneva and later New York, Omar Hilale, in the period from January 2012 to September 2014.

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