Monthly Archives: March 2013

Morocco police attack Sahrawis during UN visit: Algeria TV

Agence France-Presse March 25, 2013
Moroccan police violently dispersed a protest by separatists in the Western Sahara, Algerian TV and rights activists reported on Monday, during a visit to the disputed territory by UN envoy Christopher Ross.

The independent Ennahar TV channel broadcast images of plainclothes Moroccan police beating Sahrawi men and women in Laayoune, chasing them through the streets and dragging some of them along the ground.

Full report >>

Leichhardt Municipal Council raises flag to commemorate Saharawi National Day

lmc-3.jpgOn Tuesday 5 March Leichhardt Municipal Council raised the flag of Western Sahara to mark the anniversary of the Saharawi Republic on the 27 February, the Saharawi National Day.
The flag was raised by Councillor Darcy Byrne, Mayor , Leichhardt Municipal Council. Members of Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) attended the informal ceremony when the Mayor raised the flag.

Western Sahara’s National Day – Moreland flag idea fails to fly

Melbourne Weekly Times, March 4, 2013, 10:53 a.m.

A PUSH to celebrate cultural diversity by flying other nations’ flags within the Moreland City Council has been stymied.

Last month the council staged a small celebration to mark Western Sahara’s national day, but did not fly the flag outside Coburg Town Hall.
The gesture was a compromise, after a motion put forward by Moreland councillor Lita Gillies to fly the Western Saharan flag raised objections.

Read article >>

MEPs call on Schulz to condemn colleagues expulsion from mission to Western Sahara

(ANSAmed) – STRASBOURG, MARCH 12 – The Western Sahara House Intergroup on Tuesday called on European Parliament President Martin Schulz to condemn Morocco’s March 6 expulsion of four MEPs.

Moroccan authorities expelled Slovenian liberal Ivo Vaigl, leftist Spaniards Vicent Ramon Garces and Willy Meyer, and Swedish People’s Party MEP Isabella Lovin from Casablanca airport, preventing their mission to the Western Sahara, where they were to meet with local representatives.

Read online report >>

Morocco’s Ambassador to the U.N. responds to a documentary about the country’s treatment of the Sahrawi people

CNN International Edition,  March 6, 2013
Interview by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour

Moroccan Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Mohammed Loulichki, responds to a documentary “Sons of the Clouds – The Last Colony”, presented by award-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem about the conflict over Western Sahara, the last remaining colony in Africa.

Video interview with Moroccan Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Mohammed Loulichki >>

“Sons of the clouds” screened in the Australian Federal Parliament House

event.jpgTuesday 12 March 2013, Parliament House, CanberraThe Australian Parliamentary Friends of Western Sahara organised an event in support of Western Sahara at the Federal Parliament on 12 March 2012.

The event included a special screening of “Sons of the Clouds – The Last Colony”, a documentary presented by award-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem about the conflict over Western Sahara, the last remaining colony in Africa.

Janelle Saffin Member of Parliament and Chair of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Western Sahara opened the event with a speech in which she said:

“Tonight, in the name of Western Sahara, we welcome diplomats, parliamentarians and the press to our film viewing.

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Just published: Special Issue of Pambazuka Press focuses on Western Sahara

Pambazuka News, February 2013

Konstantina Isidora, editor of Pambazuka Press, has brought together a brilliant collection of perspectives on WS.

Read collection of articles in this issue >>

Her own article “Another Moroccan ‘coup de théâtre’”  on the Gdeim Izik trial incisively brings together all aspects of the trial and the injustices meted out to the Saharawi prisoners.
Full text of article >>

Press Release: Morocco must investigate claims of torture, transfer Sahrawi cases out of military jurisdiction

(Washington, DC – Feb. 20, 2013) The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is deeply disturbed by the mistreatment and the military trial of 25 Sahrawi in Morocco. The RFK Center calls for a full investigation into the alleged torture of the prisoners and calls into question Morocco’s use of military courts in trying civilians. (Cont….)

Press Release 20 Feb 2013 >>

Press Release: Santiago Canton Testifies before European Parliament on Western Sahara & Sahrawi Refugee Camps

Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights: Press Release

(Feb. 28, 2013 – Brussels) Today, Santiago A. Canton, Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights, testified before the European Parliament on the findings of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (RFK Center) international human rights delegation to Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center, led the delegation in August 2012, and Mr. Canton was invited to present the findings of the delegation by the Honorable Norbert Neuser and the Intergroup on Western Sahara.