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 .
The parliamentary group of the United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) described as “unacceptable” the expulsion of five of its deputies, three of them Spanish, from Western Sahara, after the Moroccan authorities did not allow them to leave a plane in El Aaiún . Paloma López Bermejo, deputy chairman of the Intergroup for Western Sahara says that the Moroccan authorities told them that as tourists they were welcome but not as observers with a “agenda” of one of the “parties” Lopez reaffirmed that the deputies will not abandon the Saharawi people and their legitimate right to self-determination.
The GUE / NGL criticized this expulsion as “the latest in a series of disproportionate and arbitrary actions with which they try to prevent the world from knowing the reality of daily life in the occupied territories.” They considered this visit “particularly important” because the European Commission is currently negotiating with Morocco to amend the agricultural protocols of the association agreement between the EU and this country.
The European Left group reiterated its “unwavering support” for the Saharawi people’s struggle for their freedom and maintains their demand for freedom for Saharawi political prisoners.
“We denounce the repression, persecution and systematic violations of the human rights of the Kingdom of Morocco,” added the parliamentary group.
According to EFE, the Moroccan government today justified the expulsion of these five deputies, because they were not allowed to tread on Western Sahara, for “not respecting the procedures and rules that govern these visits.”
The Wilaya (civilian government) of El Aaiun issued a statement shortly after the incident in which it says that the ban on access to the territory was “under the Law 03/01 on the entry and stay of foreigners” in the country and also “at the request of the elected organs of the city of El Aaiún .
This expulsion is further evidence that Morocco is afraid of reports issued by observers visiting the occupied territories.
The de Jure administrator of this non-autonomous territory is still Spain that does not assume the responsibility for decolonization.
The Moroccan military occupier does not respect the ceasefire agreement signed in 1991, violating all UN and AU resolutions.
The king of Morocco wants at all costs to prevent the reality of the territory from being known.