Polisario urges Security Council to stay on track to resolve the decolonization conflict of western sahara

NEW YORK, 21 November 2017 Ahead of the UN Security Council’s 22 November meeting on Western Sahara, the Frente POLISARIO reiterates its support to the mission of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Mr. Horst Köhler, and urges Council members to provide necessary contributions to the relaunch of the UN peace process.

The Frente POLISARIO expects the Security Council to uphold its responsibility towards the people of Western Sahara and to ensure full respect to their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The Council has the duty to guarantee that its own resolutions are respected and fully implemented. In this regard, UNSC Resolution 2351(2017) has requested the Personal Envoy to provide an update on progress towards a lasting and just solution to the conflict of Western Sahara, as a question of decolonization, within six months of his appointment. This update – to be held next February – should comprise a concrete framework for the path forward that would culminate in urgent time-bound, face-to-face negotiations between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco.

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Morocco denies legal action against Saharawi political prisoners

The General Delegation of the Prison Administration and Reintegration (GDPAR) of the Kingdom of Morocco reacted to a letter sent by foreign lawyers to the French Prime Minister on the situation of the political prisoners of the group of Gdeim Izik reported yesterday in  h24info.ma.

In an article published on Thursday, in response to the letter / denunciation of a group of lawyers from 5 countries addressed to the French prime minister visiting Morocco, the General Delegation of the Prison Administration and Reintegration (GDPAR) denies the allegations and states that the detainees enjoy all their rights, in the same way as other prisoners, and do not suffer damage to their dignity or mistreatment,

According to GDPAR  “the lack of positive interaction between some of those detainees and their obstinacy in making hunger strike warnings despite the institution’s willingness to facilitate their detention conditions and preserve their health, the administration had to apply the regulation appropriate against them “. Not specifying what  the “appropriate regulation against them” is.

It is surprising to note that a hunger strike, according to the GDPAR  is an act of indiscipline which requires disciplinary correction and that there is an “appropriate regulation”, which probably are  the ones that can be read in the letter of the lawyers.

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Two young Saharawi students from the Marrakesh group released after trial

 

Two of the Saharawi students detained in the Marrakesh prison who had been detained in June 2016 were released last October.

Mustafa Hmaidat, a student in Agadir was released on 6 October and Laghdaf Lakan, a student in Marrakech on 20 October.

Details of the case can be found in the report published by our collaborator Isabel Lourenço, member of the Western Sahara Foundation (see here).

We remind that the remaining Sahrawi students of this group were detained for almost 18 months before being sentenced on 6 July this year with 5, 10-year sentences (Abdelmaoula Elhafidi, Aziz Elwahidi, Elbbar Elkntawi, Mohamed Dada and Mohamed Saakouk) and the remaining students with 3 years in prison.

The two students now released were not convicted at that trial since they had been detained at a later date as their comrades.

This group is known as “Companions of El Ouali”, a young student murdered by the Moroccan authorities.

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GDEIM IZIK – Lawyers from 5 countries send letter to French Prime Minister

European lawyers from Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland sent today a letter to the French prime minister visiting Rabat calling for his intervention to protect the Sahrawi political prisoners known as the Gdeim Izik Group.

According to Ingrid Metton, French lawyer of the defense team of these political prisoners, the conditions of detention are alarming, with serious risks to the physical integrity of the 19 detainees not only because of the lack of medication and minimal medical attention, but also because the administration of Kenitra prison transferred a Moroccan prisoner of common crime with a history of extreme violence to the same ward as the saharawi detainees The political prisoners went on a 48-hour strike to alert public opinion to this threat and hold the prison director accountable for any injuries and attacks they may suffer.

This letter is a further appeal in a long list of international communications and denunciations from various quarters of civil society that warn of the seriousness of the situation and call on the international community to pressure Morocco to respect the basic principles of human rights.

Mrs. Metton reaffirmed that both she and her colleague and co-advocate for the group, Dr. Olfa Ouled will continue to defend these human rights activists until justice prevails.

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Young unemployed Saharawi in protest

A group of a dozen unemployed young people from the Alkasam association (Promise) today held a protest demanding the right to work.

In order to be able to demonstrate the group rose to the top of a water supply depot, on Meka Avenue in El Aaiún. It was two hours before the Moroccan occupation authorities were able to forcibly withdraw the demonstrators.

After being forced to leave the water deposit the young people were ill treated by the police and taken to their headquarter.

The young men were subjected to long identification and interrogation process.

Demonstrations of young unemployed Saharawis have multiplied in the last year with creative protest actions of nonviolent resistance. In the occupied territories, unemployment affects almost all Sahrawis, since the Moroccan settlers always have primacy in access to work.

In a territory of extreme wealth the Saharawi population is victim of a political, social and economic apartheid and forced impoverishment.

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Statement of the Political Prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group

On 10 November 2017, the Central Prison Administration of Kenitra placed a Moroccan prisoner who comitted violent crimes, in a cell in the same wing as the rooms of the Saharawi political prisoners Mr El Bashir Boutanguiza , Abdallahi Lakfawni and Houcein Zawi. , The presence of a detainee of criminal offense in the same wing where the Sahrawi political detainees are present constitutes a danger to our lives and a threat to our physical safety, especially since the Moroccan state, through its media, has always launched campaigns to incite against us, which makes us always threatened, especially after the prison administration has dispersed our group in various prisons. To join Saharawi Political Prisoners with Moroccan prisoners of criminal offense is a flagrant violation of the law, charters and customs that provide for the protection of prisoners of conscience, even more when the prisoners of conscience are from an occupied territory .

We condemn this heinous act and bad intentions and hold the Moroccan State fully responsible for what may affect the safety of our lives. Our lives are threatened and we call on all associations, and democratic institutions to intervene to save us.

Sahrawi political detainees of the Gdeim Izik group
Central prison of Kenitra

Monday, 13 November 2017

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News Network Activists denounce violations against journalists in Western Sahara

A report published by the News Network Activists, a group of Saharawi journalists in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, denounces the persecution and attacks of journalists by the Moroccan occupation authorities.

According to this report in less than a month, the moroccan authorities attacked, kidnapped, beaten , made violent assaults against Saharawi journalists and confiscated their photographic equipment, cameras and mobile phones.

The report (see here) is one more element documenting the lack of freedom of expression in the occupied territories and the brutal repression of those who try to document the violations committed by the Kingdom of Morocco against the Saharawi population.

Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975 when Spain abandoned this colony without finalizing the decolonization process.

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On 6 November 1975, the King of Morocco launched the Green March, known as the Black March for the Sahrawi

With the green march, the Moroccan regime diverted attention from the real invasion that began a few days earlier, on October 31, when the tanks and the armored regiment of the Moroccan army invaded Western Sahara, starting with Hauza and Djederia (East of Smara) , destroying, killing and kidnapping the Saharawi population.

Spain had clear obligations as a metropolis and, in accordance with international law, failed to do so. The attitude of Spain and its lack of dignity was a betrayal for the Saharawi people who still suffer from occupation and exile.

42 years have gone by, 16 years of war and 26 years of signing of the ceasefire agreement, but the Sahrawi people are still waiting for the International Community to oblige Morocco to honor the agreement that should have provided for the referendum in 1992.

A shame for the world, a shame for Spain and a shame for the African continent, the last colony of Africa that until today waits for justice and whose people resist peacefully is the example of the ineffectiveness of the United Nations and the global corruption that allows Morocco to continue to exploit, oppress and keep the Sahrawi population in the rich occupied territories in a brutal apartheid regime, while in the refugee camps the Saharawi are waiting on the other side of the separation wall for a solution that is not on the world agenda.

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Alarming situation of Saharawi political prisoners

Moroccan authorities have increased pressure and mistreatment of Saharawi political prisoners.

Mohamed Bani, Sidahmed Lemjeyid and Mbarek Lefkir were on a protest strike this Tuesday and Wednesday, they still do not have their belongings confiscated on September 16 when the Gdeim Izik prisoners were dispersed in 7 prisons in Morocco. This group that is detained in Ait Melloul spends most of the day inside individual cells and the guards have been trying through threats to force them to sign blank paper sheet. So far the Saharawi activists have refused. Their health situation is also getting worse.

Hassan Dah and Brahim Ismaili also from the group of Gdeim Izik detained in Tiflet2 prison are on hunger strike due to the ill-treatment to which they have been subjected. In response to this protest the prison administration sent Brahim Ismaili to a ward for prisoners with psychiatric diseases, in a cell without the minimum of hygienic conditions and infested by insects.

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