Category Archives: Human Rights

The detention of a vessel carrying a cargo of phosphate rock destined for Canada from occupied Western Sahara

Media release – Communiqué
The detention of a vessel carrying a cargo of phosphate rock destined for Canada from occupied Western Sahara.

Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara (18 May 2017).

The government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (the SADR) and the Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, announced today the detention of a second vessel carrying a cargo of phosphate rock illegally mined and sold from occupied Western Sahara. The motor vessel Ultra Innovation, was detained last night in Panama under court order while transiting the Panama Canal en route to Canada.

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Natural resources and resistance in Western Sahara

Democracy in Action

Joanna Allen

22 May 2017

The Sahara, 

my brothers and sisters,

is not for sale.

The green of my land,

makes me proud,

as the beauty of its pastures,

in the eyes of the good shepherd.

The phosphates you desire,

they will cause you harm,

not even if they were for sale, 

will you be able to buy them.

So go the first lines of a poem by Fatma Brahim, who composed the work in 1976 as she and her daughters left the destroyed refugee camp of Um Dreiga, Western Sahara, after the Moroccan air force napalmed it. The poem, titled “Sahara is not for sale,” has become a classic revolutionary song for Saharawis, who are still pursuing their struggle for independence. It succinctly draws attention to a central aspect of the Western Sahara conflict, and an increasingly key demand made by Saharawi pro-independence activists: natural resources.

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Report from three international observers at the Gdeim Izik trial

Rabat, Morocco 17 May 2017

To whomever it may concern,

STATEMENT CONCERNING THE PROCEEDINGS HELD AGAINST THE GROUP GDEIM IZIK AT THE APPEAL COURT OF SALE ON THE 15TH AND 16TH OF MAY 2017

The group of Gdeim Izik commenced Monday the 15th of May to express their discontent towards the court. The detainees held large protest within the court facilities, and demanded that the basic principles of a fair trial must be respected. The accused uttered that the proceedings against them constitutes nothing more than a theater, and they showed their discontent concerning the civil party which is taking an active part in the proceedings without being a formal part in the proceedings. The detainees withdrew themselves from the proceedings, along with their defense attorneys, on the 16th of May. Continue reading

Phosphate shipment held up as South African court sorts theft claims

The South African High Court has banned the Cherry Blossom, and its $US5 million ($6.7m) cargo of phosphate rock, from leaving Port Elizabeth

The Australian

Ben Butler

9 May 2017

In South Africa, the independence dreams of Western Saharan tribespeople, 55,000 tonnes of phosphate and a ship called the Cherry Blossom have come together in court to create big problems for Australian chemicals and fertiliser group Incitec Pivot. Continue Reading –

What New Zealand Owes The Western Sahara

Huff Post

Michael Dobson

10 May 2017

Mark Wynne is the CEO of Balance Agri-Nutrients, a New Zealand fertilizer company that imports hundreds of thousands of tonnes of phosphate every year from an illegal mine in a brutally occupied territory called Western Sahara. Fortunately for Mark, the Western Sahara is in north-west Africa, which is not a part of the world New Zealanders spend much time thinking about, despite the fact that our primary export industry is currently built upon on this deeply unethical trading relationship. Such ignorance means that when a vessel carrying Saharan phosphate is stopped – as happened last week in Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Mark can throw up his hands, claim that the Western Sahara situation is “very complex” and “deep-running” and (I’m not making this up) “geopolitical,” and thereby avoid having to explain to New Zealanders why it is okay that his company buys millions of dollars worth of illegal phosphate every year. Continue Reading –

 

Morocco phosphate ship held in South Africa port over Western Sahara claim

Reuters

Samia Errazzouki and Patrick Markey

3 May 2017

RABAT/ALGIERS, A Moroccan phosphate ship has been held in a South African port by a complaint from Western Sahara Polisario movement that it transported cargo unlawfully from the disputed territory, a lawyer and Polisario said on Wednesday.

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Plunder vessel detained in South Africa on way to New Zealand

Western Sahara Resource Watch

3 May 2017

A bulk vessel was Tuesday this week detained in the South African port of Port Elizabeth for carrying phosphate rock plundered from occupied Western Sahara.

The vessel NM Cherry Blossom is stuck at anchor 4 kilometers off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, not allowed to continue on its journey to New Zealand continue reading

Why the World Needs to Know About Western Sahara’s Seemingly Endless Struggle for Independence

Africa Speaks 4 Africa

Amira Ali

An interview with a Sahrawi Journalist and Activist

In 1975, Morocco, under King Hassan II, invaded Western Sahara; and since, the Sahrawi people female-dominated society of Arab and Berber descent — have been in an unflagging resistance struggle, committed to self-determination without exception. Today, Western Sahara remains the African continent’s (overtly) occupied territory — a Moroccan colony continue reading

Aziza Brahim is also performing at the Brunswick Music Festival

“Queen of the desert blues and voice of the Sahrawi people”

Aziza Brahim will also be performing at the Brunswick Music Festival, Brunswick Town Hall on Thursday 16 March at 8pm.

Coming to international attention in 2014 after the release of her third album Soutak, Aziza Brahim tours extensively across the globe. In Melbourne for the first time and for one show only, the queen of the desert blues, performs music from her sublime 2016 release Abbar El Hamada.

Powerfully voiced with arresting and spellbinding grace, Aziza’s languid laments tell of the Western Sahara refugee plight – a tale of both hardship and uplifting hope against all odds. Her music traverses an electrifying expanse between the dusty plains of her Western Saharan roots, the upbeat Latin rhythms of the Cuba of her youth and Spain, her adopted homeland.
Aziza is both a highly potent sonic poet and the voice of the Saharawi people in their ongoing struggle for recognition and justice. Innovation, truth, humility and political outspokenness are the raw materials of her vision

For more information and tickets click here