(SPS) – The Sahrawi Human Rights Committee called on, in a statement issued on the occasion of the International Day of Enforced Disappearance, the international community to reveal the fate of more than 500 missing Sahrawis and to immediately and unconditionally release all Sahrawi political detainees in Moroccan prisons.
The world commemorates the International Day of Enforced Disappearance on August 30 as a form of solidarity with the forcibly abducted and their families and to demand the disclosure of their fate and the necessity of respecting the requirements of the relevant international covenants and conventions, especially the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Since its occupation of Western Sahara, the Moroccan occupation state has been practicing the crimes of kidnapping and enforced disappearance without punishment, with the unknown fate of hundreds of kidnapped Sahrawis to this day, in flagrant violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, which has encouraged the occupying state to commit crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and confiscation of the inalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence.
On this occasion, the Sahrawi Human Rights Committee would like to recall the responsibility of the Spanish state for the events of the historic Zemla Uprising against the Spanish colonial presence, led by the deceased Mohamed Sid Abrahim Bassiri, who was kidnapped by Spanish forces during their brutal attack on the Sahrawi demonstrators who participated in the uprising in the occupied city of Laayoune on June 17, 1970. This epic marked a qualitative and radical turning point in the history of the Sahrawi resistance and constituted a decisive transition in the continuation of the liberation battle in order to complete the sovereignty of the Sahrawi Republic.
The Sahrawi Human Rights Committee urgently called upon the international organizations defending human rights and all the specialized committees, mechanisms, and task forces of the United Nations specialized in the field of human rights to work in order to compel Morocco to provide information on the missing and forcibly disappeared Sahrawis and to investigate the crimes of torture, murder, kidnapping, and other crimes committed by the Moroccan state against the defenseless Sahrawi civilians in the occupied territories of the Sahrawi Republic.
It also held the Spanish state responsible for the kidnapping and disappearance of the deceased Bassiri and demanded that it reveal his fate. It also reminded Spain of its legal responsibilities towards the decolonization of Western Sahara. Therefore, the time has come for the Spanish government to provide answers and responsibilities for those crimes in flagrant and gross violation of international law and international humanitarian law.
The Sahrawi Human Rights Committee demanded international justice to hold accountable those responsible in the Moroccan state for committing gross human rights violations against defenseless Sahrawi civilians and to bring them to justice.
It also called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to assume its responsibilities within the framework of its legal mandates by pressuring the Moroccan state to respect human rights, to immediately and unconditionally release all Sahrawi political detainees, to reveal the fate of more than 500 missing Sahrawis, and to open the occupied territory of the Sahrawi Republic to the media, international observers, personalities, and international parliamentary delegations.