Statement – Western Sahara: Ongoing harassment and intimidation against Sahrawi human rights defenders
“Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the increasing harassment by the Moroccan authorities against Sahrawi human rights defenders living in Western Sahara over the last few months which include physical surveillance on prominent human rights defenders, the use excessive force to disperse peaceful protests, the mistreatment of imprisoned human rights defenders and the imposition of arbitrary disciplinary measures against human rights defenders in their employment. (cont.)
DemocracyNow!, Feb 16, 2021
In the Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, renowned Sahrawi activist Sultana Khaya was brutally assaulted last weekend by Moroccan agents in her home in the city of Boujdour, where she and her entire family have been held under house arrest since last November 19, days after the renewal of armed conflict in the territory.
On February 13, Sultana was waving a large flag from her rooftop (cont…)
7 February 2021 Citing Torture and Lack of Judicial Independence, UN Experts Urge Morocco to Release Imprisoned Sahrawi Journalist
Screenshot of a video showing policemen severely beating two activists in Smara, Western Sahara, on June 7, 2019
On 7 June 2019, videos began to circulate showing Moroccan police brutally beating up a Saharawi journalist in occupied Western Sahara. Today, an UN opinion calling for his release from prison was made public.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for the immediate release of the young Saharawi journalist Walid Salek El Batal in a decision made public today. The opinion was issued during the 89th session of the Working Group and can be found here.
Adopted Resolution, Subject to proofreading
“For an EU that acts in support of peace and the right to self-determination in Western Sahara
The military operation by Morocco on the 13th Nov in the village of Al Guerguerat in Western
Sahara, and the subsequent end to the ceasefire that had been in force since 1991 by Frente
Polisario has brought the military mobilisation of hundreds of men from the Sahrawi refugee
camps located in Algeria.
The confrontations between Morocco and Polisario have also escalated; there have been
several clashes, though no civilian casualties have been reported. The pressure on local
human rights activists and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination has increased, Amnesty
International reported. Continue reading →
MEDIA RELEASE JANET RICE 25 NOV 2020 FOREIGN AFFAIRS
“The Australian Greens condemn the violence and breakdown in the UN-backed ceasefire in Western Sahara. Any acts of aggression by the Moroccan government are unacceptable, and the Australian Greens are profoundly concerned at reports that the Moroccan government has launched a military operation in a United Nations-patrolled buffer strip in Western Sahara. The Australian Greens urge the UN to broker a renewed cease-fire as soon as possible. Continue reading →
NGOs Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara (GSGPPHRWS) Press Release, Bir Lehlu / Geneva, 19th November 2020
“The international community must ensure the exercise of the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination.
The Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western
Sahara (253 member organisations) condemns the breakdown of the ceasefire in force since
1991 in the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara on the part of the Kingdom of
Morocco, which did not hesitate to deploy its troops and weapons in front of a group of
unarmed civilians who were peacefully demonstrating in the demilitarised zone of Guerguerat
in the south-east of the Territory. (…cont.)”
The Continued Irresolution of the Conflict of Western Sahara: The Right to Self-determination vs. Realpolitik
Dr Sidi M. Omadetermination vs. Realpolitik
Dr Sidi M. Omar, Frente POLISARIO Representative at the United Nations Sahara Press Service, 27 June 2020
“Today peoples of many erstwhile colonies enjoy their freedom and independence, yet unfortunately colonialism is far from over. At present, there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories whose peoples have not yet exercised their right to self-determination and independence including Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, on the UN list of Non-SelfGoverning Territories since 1963. …. (cont.)
Saharawis were alarmed to discover that the Moroccan ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, had been appointed by the UN to oversee human rights treaties. He will work jointly with the Swiss ambassador, Valentin Zellweger, on how to strengthen human rights treaty bodies of the United Nations.
The open letter from the NGOs Support Group for Human Rights in Geneva was made public on Friday 17 April protesting Hilale’s appointment.
It details why Omar Hilale is certainly not the right man for this job. Firstly a country which is occupying another country in violation of international law should not be entrusted with such work. Secondly, Morocco was found by a UN rapporteur to have imposed lengthy prison sentences on Saharawis based on “ “confessions” extracted under torture and has not investigated the claims as required to do.
The Geneva support group for Saharawis’ human rights also issued a press release to mark International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. It includes the full list of AWSA co-signatories from 210 organisations belonging to the Geneva group. Press release: 200324 PR Intl. Day Truth-Victims