Spanish lawyers prevented by Moroccan authorities to exit the airplane in occupied Western Sahara

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PUSL.- Moroccan authorities have prevented three lawyers to exit the airplane in El Aaiun, Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation since 1975.

The three lawyers of the General Council of Spanish Law intended to participate as observers in the trial against Saharawi journalist Nazha El Khalidi that took place yesterday. Nazha El Khalidi awaits in freedom the sentence that will be published next 8th of July.

Inés Miranda Navarro, Miguel Ángel Jerez Juan and José María Costa Serra – arrived on 23rd of June, Sunday morning by plane in El Aaiún from Gran Canaria, but they have not even been allowed to get off the plane.

The Moroccan authorities try to circumvent the “expulsion” of foreigners by simply not letting them get out of the airplane in El Aaiun, a technique that was used several times in the recent past.

Two lawyers from the United States Bar Association (ABA) who had arrived on Saturday at the Casablanca airport where not permitted entry in Morocco, under Moroccan entry law 02-03, but without any official explanation. The denial of entry in Morocco can be based on several issues, like false declaration of the nature of the visit, suspicion of criminal intent and false, not legal or insufficient documentation, or being a threat to national security and national territorial integrity amongst others.

The case of the denial of entry into Western Sahara is different since Morocco has no sovereignty over this territory and should therefore not be allowed to control the borders, which in reality should be under United Nations control until the realization of the referendum which was the basis of the cease fire agreement in 1991.

In fact, in accordance with the decision of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued on 21 December 2016 the airspace of Western Sahara is not under Moroccan jurisdiction.