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.
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.
– 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,
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,
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
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