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PUSL.- Nineteen MEPs from various political groups sent a letter to Josep Borrell Fontelles, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, about the escalation of Moroccan repression against the Saharawi people.

The letter that was sent on 22 February can be read below:

Josep Borrell Fontelles

High Representative for EU Foreign Policy

Regarding the escalation of Moroccan repression against the Saharawi people, we again stress the aggravating situation in which the population of Western Sahara lives and, in particular, the escalation of the repression and violation of human rights against Saharawi political militants by the Moroccan forces. As you may know, police and military persecution and repression is evident in the occupied cities of Western Sahara, in Bojador and especially in the capital El Aaiún, where the activists’ homes have been under siege day and night by elements of Moroccan forces, since the violation of the ceasefire by the Moroccan regime last November.

Although traditional media do not echo, Moroccan repression in the occupied territories is increasing with determination and strength. Only in the first two weeks of February worrying data was recorded: a secret crime, two kidnapped minors, activists facing arbitrary trials, house arrest and beatings of Saharawi women. Not to mention hunger strike of the prisoners who survive in unspeakble conditions. For example, the crude images of the assault on the residence of sisters Ouaara and Sultana Khaya who were beaten and suffered irreparable physical damage. The images went viral on social media, as did the testimonies of Ghali Bouhalla and Mohamed Nafaa who were kidnapped for three days and are currently being prosecuted in the middle of a police operation to intimidate family and friends. There are countless testimonies: kidnappings, threats, siege of militants and beatings, all under the weight of media silence and the indifference of the international community.

For all these reasons, we are concerned that the European Commission will only focus on diplomatic efforts with the Government of Morocco, ignoring their complicity and involvement in a war of attrition waged against the Saharawi population. The EU must understand that support for the Moroccan regime is unviable, today more than ever, in view of the increased repression against the Saharawi civilian population and the persecution of political and human rights activists.

The Saharawi people face a war of attrition on the part of the Moroccan regime. We insist that we cannot tolerate more broken promises, inaction and deception on the part of the international community to resolve this conflict. In these moments of extreme vulnerability of the population in the face of the repression and war of wear and tear implanted by Morocco and once the insufficiency of diplomatic efforts is proven, we cannot ask for less than:

1. Given the aforementioned human rights violations. the Trade and Fisheries Agreement with Morocco and the financing that Morocco receives in the neighborhood and investments are suspended.

2. An urgent intervention in the serious situation in which fifty Saharawi political prisoners are found in Moroccan prisons, places favorable to the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, given the overcrowding and the total lack of hygiene.

3. That the European Commission expresses itself unequivocally condemning this escalation of repression against Saharawi activists and the violation of human rights that occurs in the occupied territories and by Morocco.

4. Contribute decisively to the celebration of the referendum of self-determination of the Saharawi people as provided for decades ago in the Western Sahara Settlement Plan.

Finally, we reaffirm our solidarity with the Saharawi people and will continue to question the EU’s strong response, as well as the historic responsibility of the Spanish State in the conflict. We also reaffirm our commitment as public representatives to reach a democratic solution to the aspirations of the Saharawi people. A solution that requires them to be able to exercise their free right to self-determination.


Miguel URBÁN CRESPO (The Left) Idoia VILLANUEVA (The Left) Eugenia RUIZ RODRÍGUEZ PALOP (The Left) Stelios KOULOGLOU (The Left) Pernando BARRENA (The Left) Chris MACMANUS (The Left) Marisa MATIAS (The Left) Oezlem DEMIREL (The Left) José GUSMÃO (The Left) João FERREIRA (The Left) Sandra PEREIRA (The Left) Ville NIINISTÖ (Greens/EFA) Tineke STRIK (Greens/EFA) Evin INCIR (Greens/EFA) Francisco GUERREIRO (Greens/EFA) Francois ALFONSI (Greens/EFA) Rosa D’AMATO (Greens/EFA) Diana RIBA I GINER (Greens/EFA) Andreas SCHIEDER (S&D)