The Saharawi associations active in the field of human rights are honored to send you this letter, through which they wish to express, first of all, welcome and to express the immense joy to take part in this meeting that we have long awaited.
Also, we take this opportunity to share with you our deep concern at the continuing violations of human rights in Western Sahara, with very serious abuses against the Sahrawi civilians in general and the Sahrawi human rights defenders in particular. This is, of course, the result of a political and military conflict that has lasted more than three decades during which it contributed to the climate of frustration that has further increased the suffering of a population which is the victim of all forms of discrimination and humiliations and that is deprived of its right to respect and human dignity.
Population of Polisario-Run Refugee Camps Remain Vulnerable
(Rabat, December 19, 2008) – Morocco violates the rights to expression, association, and assembly in Western Sahara, Human Rights Watch said in a new report issued today, revealing stark limits to the progress that Morocco has made in protecting human rights overall. Human rights conditions have also improved in the Sahrawi refugee camps managed by the Polisario Front in Algeria, although the Polisario marginalizes those who directly oppose its leadership.
The declaration on 21 January 2009 of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the sovereign authority for Western Sahara, confirms its exclusive rights to the oil, gas and fisheries resources offshore of the territory of Western Sahara. Already recognized by over 80 countries, the SADR’s declaration of an EEZ is a further step toward full statehood, consistent with international law.
MEDIA RELEASE, January 2009
The Government of Western Sahara declared an offshore exclusive economic zone (EEZ) making official its exclusive rights to the oil, gas and fisheries resources offshore of the territory of Western Sahara.
The EEZ law, delineating the exclusive economic zone and the maritime areas of the SADR, was unanimously adopted by the Saharawi National Council (parliament) on 21 January 2009.
Le Monde Diplomatique – English edition December 2008
Morocco won control of half of the former Spanish Sahara 33 years ago, and later annexed the rest. Several generations of Saharawis have continued a struggle to be independent, and free of the Moroccan colonial powers. It has cost them everything, but they are not prepared to give up or give in.
Read full report by Colin Murphy
7 January 2009
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Christopher Ross of the United States as his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara and Michael von der Schulenburg as his Executive Representative for the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL).
Fri 19 Dec 2008, 12:13 GMT
RABAT, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Human Rights Watch accused Morocco on Friday of beating and torturing independence campaigners in Western Sahara and said U.N. peacekeepers should start monitoring human rights in the territory.
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Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Morocco : Overview, 2007. Online. UNHCR Refworld. The report refers to the continuing violation by Morocco of the Saharawi right to self-determination.
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