Aminatou Haidar advocates UN mechanism to monitor violations of Sahrawis’ human rights by Morocco

Updated: Apr 24, 2018

Sahrawi human rights activist Aminatou Haidar advocated on Saturday in Algiers the setting up of a United Nations mechanism to monitor the violations of Sahrawi’s human rights by Morocco, especially as the MINURSO” is powerless in the face of these violations.”

She also hoped that the new UN Personal Envoy gave a new impetus to the peace process.

“Morocco continues to prevent NGOs, international organizations (political, parliamentary, unions and student organizations) and newspapers from visiting the Sahrawi occupied territories, with a view to hiding serious violations of human rights committed against Sahrawi civilians, who peacefully claim their right to self-determination and independence the exploitation of their natural resources and the release of all Sahrawi political detainees,” said Haidar during a press conference jointly held with Fatma El Mehdi, member of the national secretariat of the Polisario Front and Secretary General of the National Union of Sahrawi women (UNFS) at the embassy of SADR in Algiers.

Haider also spoke of human rights violations by the Moroccan occupation against Sahrawi civilians between January and August 2017, and reported 225 peaceful demonstrations held by the Sahrawi people to claim their right to self-determination and fully exploit their natural resources, in addition to solidarity movements with the Sahrawi people.

“Moroccan authorities have repeatedly resorted to violence, electrocution and abusive arrests of 105 young Sahrawi,” she said, stressing that 70 individuals are detained in various Moroccan prisons, including two minors.

She also referred to the political trials held on last July against Sahrawi human rights activists and activists, as well as iniquitous sentences against the political prisoners of Gdeim Izik group.

Moroccan authorities continue to prevent dozens of foreign observers from entering to occupied Western Sahara in order to conceal their inhuman practices inflicted on the Sahrawis, said the Sahrawi militant.

“The Sahrawi people are determined to continue the struggle until victory and proclamation of the Sahrawi state,” said Haidar, calling for a “UN mechanism” to monitor Moroccan violations committed against Sahrawi citizens, especially as the MINURSO is powerless in the face of the crimes and violations committed by Morocco against the Sahrawi people.”

She called for pressure on the Moroccan authorities to respect the decisions of international legality and the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.

The Sahrawi activist expressed the wish that the new UN Personal Envoy, Horst Kohler, fully assumes his duties and engages in “serious” negotiations.

She also welcomed Algeria’s “strategic support” to the Sahrawi people and its just cause for self-determination.

For her part, Fatma El Mehdi said that since her accession to the African Union (AU), Morocco had tried in vain to expel Western Sahara from the African organization, saying that “the AU is a real actor and partner” of the Sahrawi Republic and has always defended the independence of this occupied territory


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