Saharawis were alarmed to discover that the Moroccan ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, had been appointed by the UN to oversee human rights treaties. He will work jointly with the Swiss ambassador, Valentin Zellweger, on how to strengthen human rights treaty bodies of the United Nations.
The open letter from the NGOs Support Group for Human Rights in Geneva was made public on Friday 17 April protesting Hilale’s appointment.
It details why Omar Hilale is certainly not the right man for this job. Firstly a country which is occupying another country in violation of international law should not be entrusted with such work. Secondly, Morocco was found by a UN rapporteur to have imposed lengthy prison sentences on Saharawis based on “ “confessions” extracted under torture and has not investigated the claims as required to do.
The Geneva support group for Saharawis’ human rights also issued a press release to mark International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. It includes the full list of AWSA co-signatories from 210 organisations belonging to the Geneva group.
Press release: 200324 PR Intl. Day Truth-Victims