Category Archives: Human Rights

Amy Goodman talks about Watching Western Sahara: Human Rights and Press Freedom in Africa’s Last Colony

New York, NY 16 February 2017 at 6:00 pm

Panel discussion and  Amy Goodman’s presentation > click here

For 40 years the Saharawi people have been caught between two harsh realities: life in desert refugee camps and life under Moroccan occupation. These realities go largely unreported, and the voices of those living in Western Sahara go unheard. Moroccan authorities deny entry to foreign journalists and strictly prohibit press freedoms in the territory. Despite the media blackout, Saharawi media activists document life under occupation. Watching Western Sahara curates and shares videos from Saharawi media activists. These videos provide a rare window into the day-to-day life of Saharawi people who take risks to expose human rights abuses in Western Sahara.

The panel discussion contextualizes the footage, providing insights into the realities of the often silenced Saharawi and the human rights implications in what a UN commission considers the last colony in Africa.

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Legal opinion on the request of the Kingdom of Morocco’s admission into the AU

Credits: VOA

                                                                                                                         Credits: VOA

Pambazuka News

Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union 9 February 2017

Morocco was admitted to the African Union at the recent AU Summit. Until now, it was the only African country not to belong to the AU. Morocco left the AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, in 1984 after the body recognised the independence of Western Sahara, which is still illegally occupied by Morocco.

Read the Legal Opinion of the OLCAU in the Pambazuka Article >>

By Letting Morocco Back In, The African Union Ignores Colonisation

Security men sit in front of a mural of the Western Sahara flag at at the Smara refugee camp in Algeria's Tindouf province, home to some several thousands Sahawari refugees, ahead of the 16th edition of the Sahara Marathon, which is organised to demonstrate solidarity with the Saharawi people and to support the independence of the Western Sahara, on February 22, 2016 . Farouk Batiche / AFP / Getty Images

Security men sit in front of a mural of the Western Sahara flag at at the Smara refugee camp in Algeria’s Tindouf province, home to some several thousands Sahawari refugees, ahead of the 16th edition of the Sahara Marathon, which is organised to demonstrate solidarity with the Saharawi people and to support the independence of the Western Sahara, on February 22, 2016 . Farouk Batiche / AFP / Getty Images

The Huffington Post Blog

Catherine Constantinides

1 February 2017

The inclusion of Morocco back into the fold is a shame on the African Union when the unresolved conflict of the Saharawi people still hangs in the balance.

Huffington Post Blog >>

Morocco is called to contribute to the full implementation of the peace plan (President of the Republic)

 

AU pictureSahara Press Service 1 February 2017

The President of the Republic, Secretary General of Frente POLISARIO, Brahim Gali affirmed from Addis Ababa that the accession of the Kingdom of Morocco to the African Union commits him to contribute effectively to the implementation of the UN-AU peace plan in Western Sahara and respect the sovereignty of the Sahrawi Republic over its territory.

SPS Article >>

SADR ready to negotiate with Morocco to end occupation

Foreign minister oleak

Sahara Press Service 31 January 2017

“The Sahrawi Republic is willing to negotiate with Morocco to put an end to the colonization of our territories in accordance with the international law and the respect of the Sahrawi people’s rights,” Ould Salek told APS on the sidelines of the 28th Summit of the African Union (AU), being held in the Ethiopian capital.

He said that Morocco’s admission into the African Union represented “a victory of the Sahrawi people since Morocco had finally accepted to sit alongside its neighbor, Western Sahara.”

SPS Article >>

23 Jan 2017: Press release from ASVDH – the trial of the Gdeim Izik prisoners resumes

The trial of the Gdeim Izik prisoners resumes in a civil court in Rabat on 23 January 2017.
ASVDH –  (Saharawi Association on human rights abuses committed by the Moroccan state) has issued the following Press Release

El-Aaiun: January 21st, 2017
The Gdeim Izik Detainees group is expected to appear on January 23, 2017 at  the Court of Appeals in Rabat-Salé. This will be the second trial after the decision of the Court of Cassation which annulled and canceled the sentences against the members of the group by the military court in Rabat. These sentencing varied from two years to life imprisonment. That Cassation ruling made it clear that the law  provisions were not considered as factual and legal evidence provided by the requirements of articles 365 and 370 of the Criminal Procedure Code were ignored. This made the Court of Appeal´s ruling illegitimate…..(cont.)
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European Court Dismisses Morocco’s Claim To Western Sahara, Throwing EU Trade Deal Into Doubt

Forbes article picture

A Sahrawi refugee prepares tea on July 8, 2016 at the refugee camp of Dakhla, 170km southeast of the Algerian city of Tindouf, in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. (Photo: FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Forbes Business 

Dominic Dudley 21 December 2016

Morocco’s relations with the European Union (EU) have suffered a potentially significant setback, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Western Sahara cannot be treated as a part of Morocco, meaning that no EU-Morocco trade deals can apply to the territory.

Forbes Article >>

EU Court protects Western Sahara from EU-Morocco trade deal

CJEU picWSRW  21 December 2016

“This is a wonderful victory for the Saharawi people and for those who advocate for respect of international law in Western Sahara. All those states in the EU which over so many years have advocated for the respect of international law in the territory are now proven right. The EU now has to respect the law in its relations with Morocco, and not put obstacles to the UN peace process in Western Sahara as is the wish of Morocco’s main ally, France”, stated Erik Hagen of Western Sahara Resource Watch.

WSRW Article >>