Letter of the President of the SADR to the Secertary-General of the United Nations

I would like first to congratulate you on your election for a second term at the helm of the United Nations, the international organization par excellence that was created to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to develop peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples.

In our most recent communications (S/2021/162) and   (S/2021/475) addressed to you, which were issued as documents of the Security Council on 19 February 2021 and 17 May 2021 respectively, we drew your attention and the attention of the members of the Security Council to the catastrophic situation in the territories of Western Sahara under the illegal Moroccan occupation, especially in the aftermath of the act of aggression carried out by the occupying State of Morocco against the Liberated Territories of Western Sahara on 13 November 2020.

In this regard, it is with great urgency that I address to you the present letter, to draw your attention and the attention of the members of the Security Council to the increasingly alarming situation in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara because of the terrorizing and retaliatory war that the occupying State of Morocco has been waging against Sahrawi civilians, human rights activists, journalists and bloggers, who are subjected daily to unspeakable cruelty and barbaric and inhuman practices.

In the occupied city of Bojador, the house of the family of Sid Brahim Jaya remains under tight siege since 19 November 2020, at a time when human rights activist Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya and her family continue their peaceful protest against the illegal Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara and raising the national flag of the Sahrawi Republic daily over their house.

As documented by pictures and videos shared on a large scale and reports of international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International (MDE 29/4404/2021), Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya and her sister, Al Waara Sid Brahim Jaya, and other family members are being subjected daily to physical assault, sexual harassment and other barbaric and degrading treatment at the hands of the Moroccan security agents and state-sponsored thugs.

The agents of the Moroccan security services, who are permanently stationed outside the family house, continue to prevent supporters from bringing food and medical supplies to the family of Sid Brahim Jaya. For instance, on 21 May 2021, Zainab Mubarek Babi and Fatma Mohamed Hafithi sought to visit the family, but they both were attacked in front of the family house and were dragged through the street, beaten and abused violently.

The agents of the Moroccan security services moreover have frequently broken into and ransacked the house of the family, and they have often spilled foul-smelling substances on the house floor, purposefully making the house uninhabitable. In an apparent attempt to further isolate the family from the outside world, Moroccan security agents have repeatedly removed the electricity meter, leaving the family of Sid Brahim Jaya with no electricity for many days and nights.

The most recent barbaric action carried out by the Moroccan security agents against human rights activist Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya took place early today when a security agent mounted on a crane used a hook to pull Sultana off the rooftop of her house where she was engaged in her daily peaceful protest. Today’s premediated attack on human rights activist Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya leaves no doubt that the authorities of the occupying State of Morocco are bent on intensifying their terrorizing and atrocious attacks against Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists.

Many Sahrawi human rights activists and defenders have joined the campaign “my flag over my home”, in which they raise the flag of the Sahrawi Republic over their homes as a symbol of non-violent protest against the illegal Moroccan occupation of parts of their country. Many of them have suffered reprisals at the hands of the occupying authorities on account of their human rights advocacy and non-violent activism in support of the right of the Sahrawi people to self – determination and independence.

The violence exerted by the Moroccan security agents against human rights activists Mina and Mbarka Aalina Baali, human rights defender Hassana Douihi and journalist Salha Boutengiza in the occupied city of El Aaiún on 9 May 2021 is just one example of the brutality, ill-treatment and unspeakable cruelty to which Sahrawi civilians in general and human rights defenders in particular are being subjected daily in the occupied Western Sahara.

The situation of Sahrawi political prisoners, including Gdeim Izik Group, continues to be alarming because of the deplorable conditions in which they are being held in the prisons of the occupying State of Morocco and the degrading and retaliatory practices to which they are subjected by the Moroccan penitentiary administration.

To protest their continued illegal imprisonment and the degrading treatment to which they are being subjected, some of the detainees of Gdeim Izik Group held in the jails of the occupying State of Morocco have gone on successive hunger strikes while the Moroccan occupying authorities continue to ignore their legitimate demands. The case of Yahya Mohamed Al-Hafiz Azza, the longest-serving Sahrawi political prisoner, is particularly alarming, as he has been on an open hunger strike to protest his unjust detention and the denial of his basic rights to family visits and medical care.

We call upon you once again to act urgently to end the suffering of all Sahrawi political prisoners and their families and to ensure their immediate and unconditional release so that they can rejoin their homeland and be reunited with their families.

As we have made clear in previous communications, it is the inaction of the United Nations Secretariat and the Security Council and their deafening silence in the face of the criminal conduct of the occupying State of Morocco that are emboldening the latter to persist in its terrorizing and barbaric practices in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara.

While we energetically condemn the ongoing violence and terror against all Sahrawi human rights activists and journalists, we also reiterate our call upon you and the Security Council to assume your responsibilities and provide protection to Sahrawi civilians in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara, which remain under tight military blockade and media blackout.

The Frente POLISARIO reaffirms that no peace process will ever be possible as long as the occupying State of Morocco persists, with full impunity, in its terrorizing and retaliatory war against Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists, in addition to its attempts to forcibly impose a fait accompli in the Territory.

The Frente POLISARIO will also not stand idly by as the occupying State of Morocco intensifies its brutality and its aggressive and retaliatory war against our people, and we reserve our legitimate right to respond strongly and firmly to any action that is prejudicial to the security and safety of any Sahrawi citizen, wherever he or she is. The occupying State of Morocco alone remains fully responsible for the consequences of its criminal and terrorizing actions in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara.

I should be grateful if you would bring the present letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

(Signed) Brahim Ghali President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO