URGENT – Norwegian observer expelled from Western Sahara

Photo by Ida Bergstrøm/UIB

Tone Sørfonn Moe, Norwegian observer was expelled today at 12h50 local time from El Aaiun, capital of the non-self governing territory Western Sahara by the Moroccan authorities.

Tone is a Norwegian law student, and was an international observer at the Gdeim Izik trial, held at the Court of Appeal in Salé, Morocco 2016/2017, she is accredited by Fundación Sahara Occidental, an organization that monitors Human Rights and the situation of the Saharawi Political prisoners. Tone was supposed to observe a court case against a group of political prisoners in Marrakech on 12 December, that was postponed.

She travelled from Agadir to El Aaiún, the capital of Western Sahara last Sunday, 10 th December.

Ms, Moe texted at 12h50

“I am being transported out of El Aaiun now. According to the police, international observers are not welcome. According to the police, i did not arrive in a legal way. I explained to the civilian agent that I arrived in El Aaiun by taxi from Agadir, and that i am an international observer. I was approached in my hotel by approximately 20-25 police officers wearing civil clothes. 10 of these civilian agents was filming me and taking my pictures.

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Morocco expels MEP’s for fear of the truth

A group of 5 MEPs from the Western Sahara Intergroup tried to visit today El Aaiun in the occupied territories of Western Sahara under Moroccan military occupation since 1975, after landing at the airport the MEPs were prevented from leaving the plane and forced to return on the same plane to Las Palmas (Spain). According to statements by Swedish MEP Bodil Valero, the authorities asked them for their passports, inside the plane, to which MEPs refused.

Several passengers expressed their solidarity with this group of MEPs.

The delegation was composed of the Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland (S & D), chair of the Intergroup; Paloma López Bermejo (IU) vice president, Josu Juaristi (EH Bildu), Lidia Senra (Galega Alternativa Esquerdas) from Spain and Bodil Valero (Greens / ALE), also from Sweden, accompanied by an assistant. The purpose of the visit was to hold meetings with Saharawi civil society, victims of human rights violations and activists in the city, as well as to closely monitor the situation under Moroccan occupation and demographic change, with the introduction of hundreds of thousands of Moroccan settlers .

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POLISARIO CALLS ON EU TO CONDEMN MOROCCO’S EXPULSION OF MEPs

[BRUSSELS, 27 OCTOBER 2017]

Morocco today deported a delegation of Members of the European parliament from the occupied city of Laayoune in Western Sahara. The delegation, all members of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Western Sahara, was headed by Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland (S&D). The other MEPs are Paloma Lopez(GUE/NGL), Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA), Lidia Senra (GUE/NGL), and Josu Juaristi (GUE/NGL). Commenting today, Polisario EU Representative Mohamed Sidati said:

“This is yet another example of Morocco’s deliberate and continual attempt to hide its ongoing and systematic human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

I spoke with the delegation to express our solidarity, and thank them for their efforts to see for themselves the dire human rights situation for Sahrawis living under Morocco’s illegal occupation. The delegation was set to meet with Human Rights organisations and activists, as well as a broad spectrum of Civil Society representatives in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

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