Frente Polisario calls on the Security Council to hold the Moroccan occupying state responsible for its continued human rights violations in Western Sahara
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H.E. Mr Vassily A. Nebenzia
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
President of the Security Council
New York, 5 October 2020
I would like, at the outset, to express the Frente POLISARIO’s sincere congratulations on your assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council for this month.
It is with a great sense of urgency and grave concern that I write to you, on instructions from my Authorities, to draw your attention and that of the Members of the Security Council to the alarming situation in the Territories of Western Sahara under Morocco’s illegal occupation where Moroccan occupying authorities are intensifying their repressive and terrorising actions against Sahrawi civilians.
At the time of writing, the Moroccan security forces are still putting under siege and house arrest a group of Sahrawi human rights activists belonging to the Sahrawi Body Against the Moroccan Occupation that was established recently in El Aaiún in occupied Western Sahara. The members of the Sahrawi human rights body and their families are also being subjected to all sorts of physical and psychological violence, mainly for having established a body whose objective is to peacefully resist the Moroccan illegal occupation and defend the basic human rights of the Sahrawi people including their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The Frente POLISARIO condemns strongly this new wave of repressive and terrorising actions carried out by the Moroccan occupying authorities in occupied Western Sahara where Sahrawi civilians, , especially human rights activists, are constantly subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture, illegal detention, sham trials, extrajudicial killings, and forced disappearance. The Frente POLISARIO calls urgently on the Security Council to hold the Moroccan occupying state responsible for its continued human rights violations in occupied Western Sahara, which are contrary to the letter and spirit of the peace plan and represent a blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement which requires the Moroccan occupying state to desist from all acts of violence and intimidation (S/21360, para. 14).
The Moroccan occupying authorities have also unleashed a frantic and chauvinistic smear campaign against the Sahrawi human rights activists, and they are preparing to take so-called “legal measures” against the members of the Sahrawi Body Against the Moroccan Occupation. The United Nations does not recognise any sovereignty of the Moroccan occupying state over the Territories of Western Sahara that it has been occupying illegally since 31 October 1975. Any “legal measures” or any other kind of actions to be taken by the Moroccan occupying authorities against Sahrawi human rights activists are therefore null and void because the Moroccan occupying state does not have any administrative or legal jurisdiction over occupied Western Sahara.
The situation described in paragraphs 68-69 of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2020/938) of 23 September 2020 is just a fraction of the gross human rights violations that are being perpetrated by the Moroccan security forces in occupied Western Sahara away from international scrutiny. The Moroccan occupying authorities continue to impose a strict media blackout and a military blockade on occupied Western Sahara where even the United Nations bodies, such as OHCHR, are still denied access to the Territory, which has resulted in substantial gaps in human rights monitoring in occupied Western Sahara as outlined by the Secretary-General report (S/2020/938, para. 68).
The Moroccan occupying state would not have persisted, with impunity, in its illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara and its human rights violations without the support and patronage of some parties that also bear responsibility for the consequences to which the reckless actions of the occupying state may lead. The Security Council is therefore called upon to use all means at its disposal in line with the UN Charter to compel the Moroccan occupying state to desist from its destabilising actions that are fuelling more tension on the ground and endangering the stability of the whole region.
I would be most grateful if you would bring the present letter to the attention of the Members of the Security Council.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.
Dr Sidi M. Omar
Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations