Monthly Archives: April 2013

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 : Western Sahara

U.S. State Department.Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 : Western Sahara


“Morocco claims the Western Sahara territory and administers Moroccan law through Moroccan institutions in the estimated 85 percent of the territory it controls. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario), an organization that has sought independence for the former Spanish territory since 1973, disputes Morocco’s claim to sovereignty over the territory.(…cont.)

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UN puts focus on Western Sahara

April 9 2013 at 10:54am

New York – United Nations leader Ban Ki-Moon on Monday called for urgent international efforts to end the Western Sahara conflict because of fears the Mali war will spill over into the Moroccan-occupied territory.

Ban called on the UN Security Council to strengthen the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara,

Read the AFP Report

“NOWHERE TO TURN” RFK Center Releases Report on Human Rights Crisis in Western Sahara


Press Release:  US leads movement to add human rights monitoring to the region’s 20-year-old UN peace-keeping mission

(Washington, DC – April 18, 2013) The RFK Center announced the release of a new report detailing grave human rights violations—including summary execution, enforced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary arrest—against the Sahrawi people of Western Sahara. On the eve of the report’s release, and just one week after the United States took historic action in drafting a human rights monitoring mandate for the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Aminatou Haidar, known as the “Sahrawi Gandhi,” was placed under increased police surveillance.

Read RFK Center Release

Read the full Report “NOWHERE TO TURN”

U.S. proposes U.N. Western Sahara rights monitor; Morocco warns of “missteps”

By Louis Charbonneau and Aziz El Yaakoubi

UNITED NATIONS/RABAT | Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:29pm EDT

(Reuters) – The United States has proposed that the U.N. peace-keeping mission in the disputed territory of Western Sahara help monitor human rights there, U.N. diplomats said on Tuesday, an idea that has prompted an expression of regret from Morocco.

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Letter to UN Security Council on Western Sahara

Human Rights Watch, April 17, 2013

To: All Members of the UN Security Council
Re: MINURSO Renewal

Dear Ambassador,

Human Rights Watch urges the Security Council, when it votes on renewing the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) this month, to extend the mandate to incorporate human rights monitoring in Western Sahara and in the Polisario Front-run refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria. (…cont.)

Letter to Members of the Security Council >>

HRW reports on UN/Western Sahara: Give Peacekeepers a Human Rights Mandate

Security Council Should Allow Monitoring for Violations
Philippe Bolopion, UN director, Human Rights Watch
April 17, 2013
(New York) – United Nations Security Council members should task the United Nations with monitoring human rights violations in Western Sahara and in the refugee camps around Tindouf, in Algeria, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to all 15 Security Council member countries.

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Western Sahara and the UN – 22 years later

The GlobalDispatches : Politics
By Anna Theofilopoulou, March 31, 2013

The UN is persevering, but time is running out. The real cause for concern should be the growing number of young and disaffected people in the region.

In April of this year, the UN Security Council will engage in the annual ritual of the mandate renewal for the UN Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). This will involve discussing the report of the Secretary-General …(cont.)

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Human Rights Watch report deplores lack of due process in trial of Sahrawi civilians at Gdeim Izik

Morocco: Tainted Trial of Sahrawi Civilians – Military Court’s Judgment in Case Based on 2010 Western Sahara Clash
April 1, 2013

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, states that “While the loss of life at Gdeim Izik is deplorable, the prosecution failed to establish after 26 months of pretrial detention for most defendants a credible case that they were responsible for the violence…..Time and again, we have seen Moroccan prosecutors appear at politically sensitive trials not with physical or witness evidence establishing the guilt of defendants, but mere confessions obtained under questionable circumstances.” (cont. )

Human Rights Watch report >>