Category Archives: Human Rights

Australian tour 3-29 June – Mohamed Mayara, Saharawi journalist and human rights advocate

Australia Western Sahara Association is hosting Mohamed Mayara, journalist, political activist, human rights defender and trade unionist who lives in occupied Western Sahara.
Mohamed is visiting Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
The tour is generously supported by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA.

Forthcoming events in Sydney, and Canberra 16-26 June


Sunday 16 June, 1.00pm*
Palestine Rally, supported by Palestine Action Group Sydney
Mohamed Mayara is one of the listed speakers.
Belmore Park, Central
*Check at link above in case the time has changed on the day.

Monday 17 June, 6 pm
Panel Discussion –  Life under occupation in Western Sahara & the pathway to freedom
Maritime Union of Australia, 
365-375 Sussex Street, Sydney
Mohamed Mayara, Convenor, Equipe Media. Ntina Tzouvala, Associate Professor at the College of Law, Australian National University. Other panellist tbc
Free event; Refreshments available; Donations welcome
Supported by MUA, APHEDA and GLW

Wednesday 19 June, 12.30 pm
Western Sahara & the struggle for human rights today
More information
ABS Case Study Lecture Theatre 2080.
Level 2, University of Sydney Business School (H70)
Cnr Abercrombie St and Codrington St, Darlington
Screening of 3 Stolen Cameras, in which members of Equipe Media fight to keep their cameras in Western Sahara. Followed by a Q&A and discussion with Mohamed Mayara, coordinator of Equipe Media, and Assoc.Prof Lynette Riley, Chair of Aboriginal Education and Indigenous Studies, USyd., Rand Darwish, Palestinian advocate and community organiser, working on intersectional solidarities, with the student movement and in film.
Free event; Light Refreshments served after the event; Donations welcome.
Supported by NTEU, APHEDA

Thursday 20 June at 5.20 pm
Workers rights – human rights in Western Sahara

Auditorium at Trades Hall, entrance via 377 Sussex Street, Sydney
A short talk by Mohamed Mayara, human rights defender, journalist and trade unionist.
Sponsored by Unions NSW

Saturday 22 June, 2 pm – Blue Mountains (Download poster)
Film screening and discussion
Africa’s last colony – a desert for journalists
Leura Uniting Church
Cnr Grose St and Megalong St, Leura
Screening of 3 Stolen Cameras (17 mins) in which members of Equipe Media fight to keep their cameras in Western Sahara – followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Mohamed Mayara, Kamal Fadel, Western Sahara Representative in Australia and New Zealand, and Kathie Herbert, Chairperson of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG).
This is a free event; Donations welcome. Afternoon tea provided
Supported by Australia Cuba Friendship Society, APHEDA


Wednesday 26 June, 6 pm (Download poster)
Panel discussion and a short documentary
ANU Latin American Students’ Association and Australia Western Sahara Association will host a screening of 3 Stolen Cameras, a documentary on Western Sahara resistance to Morrocan occupation. Panel discussion with Mohamed Mayara, Saharawi journalist, Kamel Fadel, Western Sahara Representative in Australia and New Zealand, and Leah House, Black Peoples Union.
ANU Copland Building
24 Kingsley Pl, Acton ACT 2601
The event is free.

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Article: “King of Morocco’s new energy ploy amounts to greenwashing thuggery”

Below explores King Mohammed VI’s insistent attempts to legalise exports of Western Saharan fish supplies, as well as allow for oil and gas exploration projects in the occupied territory.

“This king assumes eventually, everyone will forget about the sovereign rights of the victims of thuggery. That should never be allowed to happen.”

By David Keene.

Press release on arbitrary Moroccan detention of Saharawi Gdeim Izik activists

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has deemed the imprisonment of 24 Sahrawi activists at Gdeim Izik in 2010 as illegal, urging the Rabat to immediately release the group.

The body also urged the Kingdom to ensure reparations, an investigation into the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and to take actions against those responsible.

Full press release from the League for the Protection of Saharawi Political Prisoners held within Moroccan jails (LPPS) can be found below.

Motion supporting Western Sahara passed without debate at ALP National Conference

The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) is delighted that the Australian Labor
Party (ALP) expressed support for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, at its National Conference in Brisbane on 17-19 August 2023.

The motion adopted at the recent ALP Conference reads: 
“Labor strongly supports the United Nations in its efforts to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the 1990 Settlement Plan and supports the organisation without delay of the promised UN referendum of self-determination. In pursuit of individual freedom and human rights, Labor supports the United Nations mandating its mission MINURSO to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the Territory.”

See attached proposed resolution and media release below.

Proposed Resolution 130R, Chapter 7: “Labor strongly supports the United Nations in its efforts to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination”, passed

Moroccan officials intimidate AWSA members at African unity event

In Canberra on Thursday, May 25th, three AWSA members and Western Sahara representative to Australia Kamal Fadel were intimidated by Moroccan embassy staff. Kamal Fadel was directly blocked whilst attempting to enter Albert Hall, for an event commemorating the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union).

They were officially invited to this event, and had every intention of peacefully attending it. With the help of ambassadors accredited to Australia, all four were safely escorted inside.

Members attempting to enter Albert Hall (supplied)
Founders of the OAU in 1963. (South African History Online)

The Saharawi struggle for independence against the Moroccan regime is a Pan-Africanist struggle. It is clear that neocolonial occupiers of Western Sahara do not value this principle.

Article from the Guardian (written by Ben Doherty), below:

University of Sydney Forum

Two student societies from the University of Sydney have organised a forum on “The Struggle for National Liberation in Western Sahara”, in collaboration with AWSA. The Political Economy Society (EcopSoc) and the Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR) will host Polisario representative Kamal Fadel and Dr Randi Irwin of the University of Newcastle on Thursday, May 18th at 18:00.

All members are encouraged to attend this event. Kamal and Randi will discuss the colonial history of the region, its current impacts on Australian affairs, strategies for decolonisation and more. It appropriately falls between the 50th anniversary of both the founding of the Polisario Front and commencement of the armed struggle at El-Khanga.

A Q&A session will follow, as well as a chance to discuss all matters Western Sahara at Hermann’s bar thereafter! The Forum will take place on Gadigal Land, in the Quad Refectory Room H113 (USyd, Camperdown/ Darlington). See event flyer and Facebook page below.

Western Sahara film database


Madrid-based NGO Nomads HRC have collated a comprehensive, searchable online database of films on Western Sahara. Contact information and links are provided to films or documentaries that are publicly available. This is an open, collaborative project, so do contact Nomads if you have any queries or notice any errors. See links below.

Nomads Films catalogue

Contact Nomads HRC

YouTube recording : 8 June webinar “Morocco’s Autonomy Proposal vs Independence in Western Sahara

June 8, 2022

Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Katlyn Thomas
Stephen Zunes

Webinar “Morocco’s Autonomy Proposal vs Independence in Western Sahara: What Solution is Best for Africa’s Last Colony?” presented by The Campaign to End the Occupation of the Western Sahara in partnership with the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and the Pan African Unity Dialogue .

Webinar explores the scope and the pitfalls of Morocco’s ‘autonomy plan’ put forward by Morocco as the ‘solution’ to the conflict.

Watch here on YouTube

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May 2022: Amnesty International reports on the targeted assault on Sahrawi women activists

In response to increasing concerns about the status and safety of Sahrawi activists in Western Sahara, particularly following five separate issues in April, Amnesty International has issued a call for an investigation into police and security forces who are said to have assaulted five Sahrawi women who voiced support for Sultana Khaya.

The details of the attack are serious and are outlined in Amnesty’s call for action following its own investigation. Amnesty’s extensive report on the violence faced by the five women was published on 27 May and can be found here.

Western Sahara support groups release a strong statement on TICAD8, the Japan-organized forum on African development

The forum is to be held in Tunisia in August 2022. Friends of Western Sahara Japan and Africa Japan Forum (AJF) are calling on the Japanese government to include Western Sahara just like the EU-AU summit did in Brussels.

They demand that Western Sahara (SADR) be included in the list of invitees of the Japanese government. As the EU-AU summit in last February included Western Sahara, there is no reason that Japan excludes it.

Statement on TICAD8, 9 April 2022