DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Indépendance et Paix pour Le peuple Sahraoui: Western Sahara: Morocco's Repression Continues

Indépendance et Paix pour Le peuple Sahraoui

jeudi, novembre 23, 2006

Western Sahara: Morocco's Repression Continues



On Oct. 31, Morocco's allies on the United Nations Security Council — including France, the United States, and Britain — blocked a motion to condemn human rights abuses against the people of occupied Western Sahara. Despite reports of Morocco's escalating repression of the Saharawi independence movement, the resolution passed by the Security Council merely extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), a 15-year-old "peacekeeping" mission that has failed to facilitate a referendum on self determination.
Earlier that month, Moroccan officials rejected as "biased" and "completely erroneous" a report from the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights that revealed the use of torture and violent repression against pro-independence demonstrations and activists. According to Afrol News, the report exposed the regular denial of rights to a fair trial, freedom of expression, and freedom of association in Western Sahara.
On Oct. 30, 80 people were apprehended by Moroccan police at a ceremony in El-Ayoun marking the anniversary of the death of Hambi Lembarki. Lembarki was an activist beaten to death by police during a pro-independence demonstration last year. His death is among the few incidents of repression that have reached the courts.
On Oct. 24 the Switzerland-based Association for a Free and Fair Referendum in Western Sahara reported: "The repression seems to be principally directed against young people, of which a great number have been arrested, stripped and beaten, violated with various instruments, forced to swallow diverse substances, subjected to injections with unknown products and to diverse forms of torture."
Kamal Fadel, the representative in Australia of the Saharawi liberation front (Polisario), spoke to Green Left Weekly following the Security Council's refusal to take a stand against Morocco's human rights abuses. He said that the council "had in front of it a report that stated clearly that there is a problem with human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Western Sahara." France objected to any mention of the human rights situation in the Security Council resolution.

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