PUSL.- MEP Florent Marcellesi of the Greens / EFA group EQUO has complained to the EU authorities about a potential conflict of interest of the consultancy firm Hill + Knowlton International Belgium. (see attached letter).
According to news published in recent days the Moroccan government is one of the main clients of Hill + Knowlton International Belgium (H + K) whose director general, Alain Berger is also the founder of the NGO EuroMedA, which carries out activities directly related to Morocco in the European Parliament . If confirmed, it would violate the EU Transparency Code of Conduct, since H + K would obtain information concerning Morocco and Western Sahara dishonestly.
In the letter, Florent Marcellesi defines this H + K activity as particularly disturbing because “the Moroccan government has been and possibly continues to be a leading client of H + K and the NGO EuroMedA is directly involved in relation to Morocco in the European Parliament, including public events. The EuroMedA Foundation does not appear in the EU lobby register. Read more
The GUE/NGL group expresses its concern about a possible violation of Parliament’s code of conduct by several MEPs involved in discussions on files concerning relations between the EU, Morocco, and Western Sahara.
The MEPs in question failed to disclose their membership of the board of EuroMedA, a foundation with links to the Moroccan government. The case seems to present a clear conflict of interests.
For this reason, we support the request made to President Tajani by the Greens/EFA group to refer the matter for investigation.
The GUE/NGL has also asked the Chair and political coordinators of Parliament’s Committee on International Trade to reconsider whether MEP Patricia Lalonde should remain Parliament’s rapporteur on a key EU-Morocco agreement*. Lalonde has never disclosed “any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to the matter under consideration” as called for by Parliament’s Code of conduct. Read more
PUSL.- Philippe Lamberts, co-chair of the Greens / ALE Group in the European Parliament, wrote a letter to Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, on 27 November denouncing fourMEPs who have been active in defending Moroccan interests without having informed the Parliament on its conflicts of interest and requests that the matter be referred to the Advisory Committee on the Code of Conduct.
Lamberts alerts to the fact that “to date, none of the above-mentioned MEPs appear to have disclosed their involvement in this Foundation within their declaration of financial interests, despite the obligation to do so under article 4.2 (d) of the Code of Conduct.
This is particularly disturbing given that all of these MEPs have been directly involved in the ongoing parliamentary consent procedure of the EU-Morocco Trade Liberalization Agreement in relation to Western Sahara and the EU-Morocco Partnership Fisheries Agreement.” Read more
Abbahah, who had lost consciousness and who was administered serum, suspended his hunger strike after the prison director told him he could stop that everything would be resolved.
The 44-day hunger strike has had a huge impact on Abbahah’s health who has been in prolonged confinement for more than 8 months. Abbahah’s state of health is alarming, not only due to the result of tortures suffered and continued mistreatment, as well as medical negligence since his arrest in 2010.
El Bachir Khadda in an identical situation is also in an alarming health situation after a 43-day hunger strike. Read more
PUSL.- Abdallah Abbahah, a Saharawi political prisoner of the Gdeim Izik Group, who is in hunger strike since the 1st of October, was transported today from Tiflet2 prison to the hospital after he lost consciousness for several hours.
In the hospital, he was given 2 liters of serum and afterward transported back to the prison cell where he remains in prolonged confinement since 7th of May 2018.
Due to the hunger strike Abbahah has serious heart problems, vomits, has intense pain in all his organs, can’t stand or walk.
Earlier this week a female doctor visited him in prison and told him to stop his hunger strike and stop giving them “troubles” so that they could rest.
The prison director told him repeatedly to stop the hunger strike and that the Moroccan authorities have no responsibility over his health. Read more
PUSL.- Morocco not only ignores the decisions and recommendations of the UN and its mechanisms in the area of human rights but exacerbates the situation of Saharawi political prisoners who are subject to constant reprisals.
El Bachir Khadda of the group of Gdeim Izik ended a hunger strike that lasted 43 days and is in a state of extreme physical debilitation. The director of the Tiflet prison where he is being held has not yet sent any doctor or nurse to assess Khadda’s situation.
This journalist and human rights activist is unable to stand, is in a wheelchair without the guards helping him to move. In prolonged confinement in a cell without the minimum of conditions and without access to adequate food.
Abdallah Abbahah another political prisoner from Gdeim Izik’s group, held in the same prison has been on hunger strike for 33 days, in a cold cell, without any furniture, with only three thin blankets and drinking water. Read more
eldiario.es.- The UN extended its peace mission in Western Sahara (Minurso) for six months, instead of the traditional twelve, in order to continue pressing the parties to negotiate a solution to the conflict.
With twelve votes in favor and three abstentions, the United Nations Security Council gave its approval to a proposal by the United States, which was discussed until the last moment, given that countries like France preferred a one-year term.
At the US request, the Minurso had already been renewed last April for only six months in order to put pressure on Morocco and the Polisario Front to sit at the negotiating table after years of blockade.
For Washington, that approach has been successful and has facilitated that the two parties have agreed to meet next December in Geneva at a meeting organized by the UN mediator, Horst Köhler. Read more
PUSL.- Mr Loïc Prud’homme alerts the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs about the situation in Western Sahara and the fate of Sahrawi refugees.
At its meeting of April 27, 2018, the UN Security Council voted a resolution extending for six months the mandate of the UN mission for the organization of a referendum in Western Sahara.
On October 31, 2018, this mandate will be questioned and with it a process that has been going on for 27 years and still not finalized to date. This process was set up to respond to the demand of the Saharawi people to assert their right to self-determination in the territory of Western Sahara, materialized by the declaration of independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). in 1976 by the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi representation supported by Algeria. Read more