International trade union condemnation of Moroccan violence against the Saharawi civilian population

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Condemnation of the violent repression by the Kingdom of Morocco’s police and army against the Saharawi civilian population in the occupied territories of Western Sahara

What happened in El Aaiún on July 19, with police intervention and attacks on Saharawi families peacefully taking to the streets of the city, seizing the opportunity for Algeria’s victory in the African Cup of Nations final to claim their right to self-determination and the implementation of the referendum represents a very serious issue of violence and repression of freedom of expression and free association. A repressive action that caused dozens of injuries and the death of a 23-year-old , Sabah Azman Hameida.

This latest episode of violence and repression only confirms what was described in the recent report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ohchr), which expresses its concern about the continuing “torture and violence, the use of arbitrary detention”. “and the denial of the most basic civil and human rights of the political prisoners,” urging the Moroccan institutions to assume their responsibilities and ensure respect for the human rights and freedom of expression of all persons without discrimination.

It is not with violence and repression that peace, security and coexistence between the various communities in the region will be achieved. Only with regard to human rights and international law can lasting results and stability be achieved in the Maghreb region through respect, dialogue and negotiation between the parties. Only by complying with international law, the United Nations Resolutions and by holding the self-determination referendum agreed by the parties can this conflict be resolved.

The signatory unions, which have always committed themselves to peace and respect for human rights, condemn the use of violence and the repression of the Moroccan police and army against the Saharawi civilian population and demand that the authorities of the Kingdom of Morocco investigate and punish the responsible for these actions and the death of Sabah Azman Hameida, and we request that freedom of expression be guaranteed to the entire population, and respect for the human rights of detainees and fair trials.

We call on the European Union and the international community to take effective and pressure measures against the Moroccan state to end the repression of the Saharawi population. At the same time, we believe that the United Nations Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) should include monitoring and defense of human rights in its functions to ensure compliance in the territory and to prevent events such as those reported here.

The undersigned

July 31, 2019

Signal: CGIL (Italy), CCOO (Spain), UGT (Spain), CGT (France), USO (Spain), Intersindical Confederation (Spain), Alternative Intersindical Catalonia, CGTP-IN (Portugal)