We bring you greetings of this Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebration Year and affirm our continued support of his courageous legacy of solidarity with the struggling masses of the world, wherever they may be and whatever injustice they may be facing; we stand as one united in the struggle for justice, freedom, human dignity and peace.
We have stood by the just struggle of the Sahrawi people for decades and will continue to do so and therefore call on the French Government and the Moroccan authorities to ensure that the basic human rights of Ms Claude Mangin Asfari and her husband Naama Asfari is upheld and respected.
The continued suppression of the rights of the Sahrawi people in violation of International law, and the denial of their right to self-determination is a moral crime that is as despicable as it is untenable. We note with concern the violation of the basic human rights of Ms Claude Mangin Asfari and denial of her rights to a private and family life under International Humanitarian Law.
Her repeated denial of access to the Moroccan territory since December 2016, without providing any particular reason effectively prevents her from visiting her husband in incarceration. This is not only unacceptable, it is also unjust and a serious violations of her rights.
We send our greetings to the widow of our hero Ms Anissa Boumedienne, the widow of the late Algerian President Mr. Houari Bournedienne and the entire leadership collective of Algeria under President Abdulaziz Boutefleka for their continued and heroic support to the struggle for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara just as they supported us through thick and thin against the brutal apartheid state.
We call on the President of the French Republic and his government to make every effort to ensure that the Moroccan authorities respect international humanitarian law and allow Claude Mangin Asfari to visit her husband Naama Asfari.
We fully support and endorse the brave actions of Ms Claude and her indefinite hunger strike to obtain the restoration of her right to visit her husband Naama currently held in Kenitra prison in Morocco. This act of self-sacrifice by Ms Claude in as much as it is an act of courage and bravery, is also an act of desperation to ensure that her cause does not suffer anonymity and silence in the face of extreme suppression and provocation.
I call on all peace loving activists all over the world to likewise show their support for Ms Claude’s hunger strike as well as demand the immediate release of Naama Asfari and all Western Sahara political prisoners languishing in Moroccan jails.
I once again repeat the call that I issued in my open letter to the King of Morroco, HRH King Mohamed VI early this year and call on the Kingdom of Morocco to immediately comply with UN referendum on self-determination (Resolution 15/14) and reiterate the final opinion of the CAT, issued on December 12, 2016, recognizing “the violation by the Moroccan State of several articles of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in the case of Nagma Asfari and likewise call on Morocco “to refrain from any act of pressure, intimidation or reprisals likely to harm the physical and moral integrity of the complainant and his family”.
We say to Ms Claude Mangle Asfari, we identify with your cause and feel your pain. We stand by you as you pursue your hunger strike. We know what it feels We to be denied your basic rights, to be deprived of visiting your family as my grandfather had to endure during his incarceration for 27 years.
A few days ago South Africa as a nation celebrated Freedom Day on the 27th April. We were reminded that there was a time in our recent past when activists like you too went on hunger strike to demand the release of our hero and global icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, to demand our fundamental human rights, and to demand an end to the brutality and oppression of the apartheid state. Today, it is you who is making that brave call and taking this courageous stand in the face of Moroccan brutality. You will never stand alone.
We salute you and support you in your hunger strike and your just struggle. We will continue to support you until all political prisoners are freed and all the people of Western Sahara can exercise their right to self-determination.
Aluta continua-the struggle continues!
The legacy fives on and the dream shall never die!
Hon. Chief Zwe ivelile Mandela,
MP Parliament of South Africa
Cape Town Western Cape Province South Africa