PCP asks for clarification on EU High Representative’s response to human rights violations in Western Sahara capital

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PUSL.- MEP João Ferreira of the Portuguese Communist Party requested further clarification regarding Frederica Morgherini’s response to the human rights violations that took place in El Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old girl.

Vice-President Federica Mogherini’s reply on behalf of the European Commission stated:

“The EU is aware of the tragic death of a 24 year old woman in Laayoune after the Algerian victory in the African Cup of Nations. According to the Moroccan authorities, inquiries are ongoing to clarify the circumstances.

Democracy and human rights are essential components of the EU’s foreign policy and of its dialogue with partner countries like Morocco. The 14th meeting of the EU-Morocco Association Council on 27 June 2019 provided an occasion to have a high level discussion on human rights issues. The Joint Political Declaration adopted during the Association Council also emphasises human rights and common values as a key area of the future cooperation.

The European Union will follow the situation of human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara through regular contacts with the competent authorities, including the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) and its regional offices, as well as with civil society organisations and human rights defenders.”

The MEP of the PCP, in addition to Written Question P-002380/2019, on the Situation in Western Sahara and the ongoing wave of repression, and taking into account the Vice-President’s reply, requested the following additional clarification:

“What was the conclusion of the survey and what conclusions has the European Commission drawn from its findings?

Apart from addressing human rights issues in the political dialogue with Morocco, what other concrete measures has the Commission taken or does it admit taking in the face of proven human rights violations, for example in view of the human rights clause contained in the agreement? EU-Morocco association agreement (never triggered until today)?

Do the organizations referred to by the vice-president with whom she has regular contacts on the subject of human rights include the Polisario Front, as the legitimate representative of the Saharawi people, and other Saharawi civil society organizations? “