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Isabel Lourenço

At the meeting of the Fourth Committee for the Decolonization of the United Nations, which took place between 3 and 6 October, Isabel Lourenço, collaborator of PUSL and member o Fundación Sahara Occidental, denounced the situation of the political prisoners and drew attention to the responsibility of the international community who with his silent complicity and inaction is responsible for the suffering of the Saharawi people.
After denouncing some of the crimes committed by the Kingdom of Morocco, she called for the visit of a mission of the 4th Commission to the occupied territories, as stipulated in the mandate of this body.

Mr. Chair, Members of the 4th Committee

Why do you need us to recount each year the suffering of the Saharawi people?

Is there any doubt about the numerous resolutions of the United Nations? The decision of the international court, the African Union and more recently the European Court of Justic?

Morocco is an illegal occupier; there is no shadow of doubt about this fact. There is also no doubt about the serious violations of the most basic human rights of the Saharawi under occupation and the suffering of the refugees in the camps for over forty-one years. Do you not know about the separation wall with 2720km or the millions of mines? The Plunder of the natural resources, the forced impoverishment of the Saharawi and the change of demographics with the introduction of hundreds of thousands of settlers? Morocco does not want a referendum because it knows it will loose, it proposes an autonomy option because it desperately needs Saharawi resources to survive, even if the Moroccan would cover the Sahrawi in gold, it would still be an illegal occupation.

Is it necessary 7 years in a row to tell you about the Gdeim Izik camp, it’s brutal dismantlement and the innocent victims that are now rotting away in Moroccan prisons, tortured abducted by the kingdom of morocco and illegally sentenced from 20 years to life in prison? The political trial that sentenced the Saharawi political prisoners known as Gdeim Izik group did not present any evidence of crime committed or violence other that documents signed under torture and witnesses that took part in the torturing of the prisoners.

A large number of those prisoners are now in hunger strike, they are denied healthcare, medicines for their chronicle illnesses, ill treated, insulted and isolated, the group was divided into 7 different prisons in the Moroccan kingdom, a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.

Do you need to hear the list of torture techniques applied by the Moroccans to Saharawi prisoners?  


  • Airplane
  • Beatings
  • Burning with cigarettes
  • Chemical burns
  • Chemical inhalation
  • Removal of finger and toe nails
  • Light deprivation
  • Electrocution
  • Flagellation
  • Whipping of feet
  • Hanging by the feet
  • Mutilation
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Sodomy with sharp objects such as broken bottles, iron rods, legs of chairs and light bulbs
  • Solitary confinement
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Starvation
  • Sweden drink – ingestion of urine and faeces
  • Waterboarding

“My crime is to have a rich country” said Abdallahi Abbahah, political prisoner of the Gdeim Izik group during the trial that sentenced him and 7 companions to life in prison.  I have to add that there is another crime the Saharawi committed, the crime of believing that the agreement they have signed for the cease fire in 1991 under the auspicious of the United Nations would be respected; the Saharawi respect what they have signed and never resorted to violence, waiting patiently for the referendum that should have been celebrated 26 years ago, but the Moroccan Kingdom does not respect the signature it has put under the cease fire agreement or the numerous international covenants it has ratified. And the International Community and the UN do not take the necessary steps to ensure the protection and rights of the Saharawi People.

The Saharawi are an example to the world of peaceful resistance, but are being punished by the international community with it’s silent complicity and inaction.

Morocco, abducts, tortures, kills, and incarcerates the Saharawi people. Morocco tries daily to annihilate not only the people but also the culture and traditions of the Saharawi.

Morocco forces the Saharawi to have Moroccan identity cards, robbing them of their nationality, which since the decolonization has not be accomplished should be Spanish until the referendum.

Members of the 4th committee your role is to listen but also to act and to denounce. I plea to you to visit the occupied territories of Western Sahara in accordance with this committee’s mandate.

I’m pleading here for the Saharawi people and it’s right to self-determination according to the UN resolutions, but I’m also pleading for all the Saharawi political prisoners and their immediate release.

Do not allow the suffering of the Saharawi to continue.


Isabel Lourenço

Human Rights Activist

member of Fundación Sahara Occidental

collaborator of