Monthly Archives: April 2014

US and UK students detained in El Aaiun

Today, April 19, two students from the U.S. and UK have been detained at a checkpoint in El Aaiun. Kristina Nygaard, with U.S. passport, and Joanna Allan, a British citizen, had traveled to occupied Western Sahara to learn more about the concerning situation of the Saharaui population and to gather information on human rights violations and natural resources exploitation in the occupied territory.

In one of the many existing checkpoints at El Aaiun, Kristina Nygaard and Joanna Allan were arrested by the Moroccan police. As declared by the students themselves, they have been told that “they are not welcome” and they will be driven in a car, probably to Agadir.

Violations against human rights in the Western Sahara after the April 25, 2013 UNSC Resolution 2099

Between April 26, 2013 (the date on which the Security Council adopted Resolution 2099) and April 5th, 2014, Morocco has continued its usual repressive policy with regard to Sahrawi civilians in the part of the Western Sahara it occupies and in Southern Morocco.

In fact:

– the withdrawal of the resolution proposed before the Security Council by the United States in April 2013, a proposal on which the Sahrawi population and human rights defenders had been relying heavily in order to put an end to the human rights’ violations by the Moroccan State,

– Security Council Resolution 2099/2013, which  did notbroaden the mandate of MINURSO to cover human rights monitoring and protection in the Western Sahara,
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AWSA joins 116 other associations from 22 countries to plead for human rights monitoring by UN in Westen Sahara

Joint letter from humanitarian organisations working in support of the people of Western Sahara

President of the UN Security Council,
Ambassadors of Member States of the UN Security Council,
New York.

16th April 2014

Mrs. President, Ambassadors of the Member States of the United Nations Security Council,

In 1991 Security Council resolution 690 established the mandate for MINURSO to conduct a free and fair referendum for self-determination for the Sahrawi people. 23 years later the Sahrawi people are still waiting to enjoy that inalienable right which is laid out in United Nations resolution 1514 (XV).

In the meantime, Western Sahara remains a colony of Spain, illegally occupied by Morocco and the largest of only 16 remaining non-self-governing territories identified by the United Nations which have yet to be decolonised. Up to 160,000 Sahrawis remain in refugee camps in the desert of neighbouring Algeria, reliant on diminishing international aid. Continue reading

Australia Western Sahara Association presents a film about a remarkable young activist fighting for a free Western Sahara

Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain, will host this special screening of The Runner at NSW Parliament House

The Honorable Dr Meredith Burgmann will introduce the film

The Runner is the story of a world champion long-distance runner Salah Hmatou Ameidan whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. He comes from Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation since  1975. His story is an inspiring one.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

6.00pm for 6.15pm start

Location: Theatrette, NSW Parliament House, 6 Macquarie Street