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U.S. Announces Groundbreaking Draft Resolution for Human Rights in Western Sahara
Domingo, 14 de Abril de 2013 12:38
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(Washington, DC | April 12, 2013) The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) applauds the United States' draft resolution calling for a human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism in MINURSO, the United Nations (U.N.) Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps outside Tindouf, Algeria.


This groundbreaking proposal by the United States reverses decades of silence from the international community on this ongoing human rights crisis. The U.N. members currently negotiating the MINURSO resolution, which is up for renewal at the end of April, are known as the Group of Friends of Western Sahara and are comprised of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and Spain.

“The mission in Western Sahara is the only U.N. peace-keeping mission that was designed without a mandate to investigate and report on human rights violations in the last several decades,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center. “This resolution from the United States government would right that wrong and protect hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Four decades after the UN declared a ceasefire, the Sahrawi people suffer torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, and other human rights violations at the hands of the Moroccan government. And more than 100,000 refugees are left living in what were intended to be temporary camps outside Tindouf, Algeria, separated from their families since 1976 and afraid to return home.

“If human rights is a pillar of the United Nations, then it must find a way to implement an effective human rights mechanism to protect the Sahrawi people,” said Santiago Canton, Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights and former Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. “We are calling on the U.N. Secretary General, U.N. Special Envoy to Western Sahara, U.N. Members of the Security Council and Human Rights Council, The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to take a simple, bold stand for human rights in Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps.”

Over the last six years, the RFK Center has been a leading voice in the global movement to include a human rights mandate in the MINURSO peace-keeping mission in Western Sahara. In 2008, the annual RFK Human Rights Award was given to Aminatou Haidar, a courageous woman  known as the "Sahrawi Gandhi," kicking off a multi-year partnership. The RFK Center has worked hand-in-hand with Haidar and other Sahrawi rights activists to call on the international community to take action for human rights in Western Sahara.

Upon returning from the 2012 delegation to Western Sahara, the RFK Center released a Preliminary Report summarizing our findings. A full report will follow in the coming weeks. This week, Horizon Magazine, a travel periodical offered to Wall Street Journal subscribers in the United States and Toronto Star and National Post readers in Canada, published a gripping report on the RFK Center's 2012 delegation.

 
AIODH Informe sobre los juicion ante el tribunal militar de Rabat
Martes, 26 de Marzo de 2013 18:01
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Aiodh Informe Juicio Rabat 19 Marzo 2013

 
Concentración de rechazo a los Acuerdos comerciales entre la UE y Marruecos
Martes, 05 de Marzo de 2013 18:10
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Martes 12 de marzo, 19.00

Frente al Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente
(Paseo Infanta Isabel)


Convocan: CEAS, Ecologistas en Acción, PAPPS, Thawra y Western Sahara Resource Watch



A lo largo del mes de febrero, la Comisión Europea (CE) y las autoridades marroquíes han celebrado diversos encuentros con el objetivo de cerrar las condiciones para la renovación del Acuerdo de Pesca entre la UE y Marruecos. Asimismo, se espera que  a mediados de marzo, una delegación de la CE viaje en secreto a Marruecos  para intercambiar las primeras propuestas respecto a las condiciones de aplicación de un tratado de libre comercio más amplio entre la UE y Marruecos, dentro del cual se enmarca un acuerdo agrícola  entre ambas regiones.

Un  acuerdo de índole comercial que  permita a Marruecos alcanzar un alto nivel de integración en la UE sin convertirse en miembro de la misma, es decir, que pasa a ser un socio preferente de la UE a nivel económico, posibilitando la libre circulación de mercancías, servicios, capitales y personas físicas con fines profesionales.

Queremos pronunciarnos en contra de todo acuerdo comercial con Marruecos por diversos motivos:

  • Explotación de recursos naturales saharauis: La ONU ya ha dejado muy claro que la explotación de sus recursos naturales es contraria al Derecho Internacional ya que no se cumplen dos requisitos mínimos: que los beneficios de tal explotación repercutan directamente en la población saharaui, y que el acuerdo cuente con el visto bueno de quien, en palabras de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, es su único y legítimo representante: el Frente Polisario.
  • Incumplimiento de los Derechos Humanos: La UE incluye en todos sus acuerdos con terceros Estados la denominada “cláusula democrática”, que condiciona su aplicación al respeto por estos Estados de los DDHH. Pese a ello, la UE concluye acuerdos con la monarquía alauí que gobierna Marruecos, responsable de continuas y graves violaciones de los DDHH tanto sobre la población saharaui de los Territorios Ocupados como sobre la población marroquí.
  • Perjuicio de la pequeña agricultura y ganadería: La pequeña agricultura y ganadería de Europa, de Marruecos y del Sáhara Occidental sería otra de las perjudicadas por este acuerdo, puesto que éste favorece y beneficia exclusivamente al sistema de producción agrícola y ganadero basado en las grandes explotaciones agroindustriales.
  • Destrucción del ecosistema marino: A todo lo anterior se le suma, en materia de pesca, la actuación dañina realizada al ecosistema marino. Las embarcaciones practican un arte de pesca especialmente lesivo para dicho ecosistema: la pesca de arrastre, uno de los métodos de pesca más destructivos con el medio a causa de los daños físicos que provoca en el lecho marino y por la gran cantidad de descartes que produce.
  • Falta de democracia en las negociaciones: Esta es producida por la poca o nula participación que promueve la UE en los procesos de decisión relacionados con los asuntos comerciales, para los que nunca se consulta a la población civil de los países implicados, pero tampoco se suministra información a organizaciones de la sociedad civil que la solicitan. Todo lo contrario de lo que ocurre con las grandes empresas y representantes del gran capital que son informados periódicamente del estado de las negociaciones.
Por estas razones, las organizaciones CEAS, Ecologistas en Acción, PAPPS, Thawra y Western Sahara Resource Watch convocan a una concentración el próximo martes 12 de marzo frente al Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente.

Las organizaciones convocantes quieren denunciar al ministerio que más presión ha ejercido para conseguir un Acuerdo Pesquero al margen de los Derechos Humanos y del Derecho Internacional y denunciar así la firma de este tipo de acuerdos por parte de la UE con un país que sigue ocupando militarmente parte del Sahara Occidental, sin cumplir con las resoluciones de la ONU, expoliando los recursos naturales que no le pertenecen y utilizando la tortura para silenciar las protestas de la población oprimida. Animan para ello al resto de organizaciones que apoyen al pueblo saharaui, así como organizaciones en defensa de los pequeños agricultores y ganaderos, así como a asociaciones en defensa de los DDHH, a sumarse a esta convocatoria, que no pretende sino ser el comienzo de una serie de movilizaciones por frenar la firma de cualquier acuerdo comercial con Marruecos, mientras no se solucione el conflicto del Sáhara Occidental de forma digna y justa para el pueblo saharaui.
 
SAHARA ANALYSIS February 2013
Lunes, 04 de Marzo de 2013 18:28
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Text Box:  February 2013
SAHARA ANALYSIS
No: 76
Western Sahara Campaign UK www.wsahara.org.uk email: coordinator@wsahara.org.uk
Manora, Cwmystwyth, Aberystwyth, SY23 4AF
The UN Security Council Must Monitor Human Rights in the Western Sahara
The trial and sentencing of 25 Saharawi, who had been held in prison without trial for two years, had been tortured, were illegally tried in a military court, and with some receiving sentences of life imprisonment, yet again highlights the failure of the UN Security Council to accept its moral and legal responsibilities to protect the rights of the people of the Western Sahara.
Join us in calling upon the UN Security Council, and the British Government, to live up to these responsibilities:

Write to your MP asking them to:
· Sign EDM 1113 - see text below  or here
· write to the Foreign Secretary asking that the UK supports the urgent implemention of a comprehensive human rights monitoring mechanism in Western Sahara reporting directly to the UNSC.
For more information go to www.wsahara.org
EDM 1113
That this House notes the concerns raised by Amnesty International and other organisations over the trial and sentencing of 24 civilian Saharawi human rights activists by a military tribunal; further notes the increasing human rights abuses in the Western Sahara; acknowledges the need for Minurso to be given a human rights monitoring mandate and calls on the Government, to make representation to the Moroccan Government to revoke the politically motivated and unjust sentences against the 24 Saharawi human rights activists, to release all Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan jails and to allow access to the Saharawi territories under Morocco’s occupation by independent observers and international media.
WSC has joined other organisations to set up WSAF (Western Sahara Action Forum), an international coalition dedicated to the protection of human rights and the implementation of international law in Western Sahara. www.wsaforum.org
WSAF is concerned with the current human rights crisis in the region and believes the protection of human rights is an essential foundation for resolution of the conflict.

Dark Deed in the Dark of the Night
In the early hours of Sunday morning, 17 February the Moroccan Military Court in Rabat delivered its sentences on the 25 Saharawi accused of offenses relating to violence during the dismantling of the Gdeim Izik protest camp by Moroccan security forces in 2010.
The sentences were from 20 years to life in prison for 23 of the Saharawi. Prominent human rights defenders received the harshest sentences, including a life sentence for one defendant in absentia who was previously tried and acquitted of the same crime by another tribunal.
Amnesty International described the trial as flawed from the outset, in violation of international standards for fair trials. Whilst in detention the defendants claim to have suffered torture and to have been coerced into signing confessions.
Any trial of the defendants, many of whom are prominent human rights activists, should have been in a civilian court. Any trial should have been in Western Sahara; the defendants should not have been taken to Morocco. It should not have been delayed by over two years and the allegations of torture should have been fully and independently investigated.

Amnesty International
18 February 2013
Convicted Sahrawis must receive fair trials in civilian courts
20 February 2013
Morocco/Western Sahara: Two years too long – repression of protests must end
Two years after thousands of people took to the streets of Rabat, Casablanca and other cities in Morocco calling for reform, repression of protests in Morocco remains routine, said Amnesty International.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Spokesperson: Rupert Colville
Geneva: 19 February 2013
We are concerned by the use of a military court to try and convict 25 Saharan civilians charged in relation to violence during and after the dismantling of the Gdim Izik protest camp near Laayoune, Western Sahara, in November 2010, when 11 members of the Moroccan security forces and two Saharans were killed.

The 25 civilians were sentenced to between two years and life in prison by the Permanent Military Tribunal of the Royal Armed Forces in Rabat during the night of 16 to 17 February 2013.

As noted by the Human Rights Committee, the use of military or special courts to try civilians raises serious problems as far as the equitable, impartial and independent administration of justice is concerned.

We are also concerned by reports that most of the accused allege they were tortured or ill-treated during their pre-trial detention, but that no investigations into these allegations appear to have taken place. This was a very serious event, involving substantial loss of life, and it is important that justice is done, but it is also important that the judicial processes scrupulously abide by international fair trial standards.
To Read Press Release
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
Washington, DC – Feb. 20, 2013
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is deeply disturbed by the mistreatment and the military trial of 25 Sahrawi in Morocco. The RFK Center calls for a full investigation into the alleged torture of the prisoners and calls into question Morocco's use of military courts in trying civilians.

Euro-Med Human Rights Network
Copenhagen, 20 February 2013 – The EMHRN condemns the court-martial of the 24 Sahrawi activists in Rabat.
The EMHRN sent lawyer and EMHRN representative Michael Ellman out to observe the trial and after a series of adjournments – not all explained – the trial has at last been held and the verdicts have been extremely severe.
At the trial, many of the defendants said they had been tortured, but the Tribunal failed to investigate their claims. No proof of the accused’s guilt was brought forward, and the President of the Tribunal even refused to hear evidence from prosecution witnesses whose testimony was judged too shaky. In addition, the case file contains no proper substantive investigation (those killed or injured unidentified, an autopsy on only one of the 10 corpses, no DNA evidence, a videotape from which the defendants cannot be identified).
European Parliament resolution on the 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Expresses its concern at the continued violation of human rights in Western Sahara; calls for the protection of the fundamental rights of the people of Western Sahara, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate; demands the release of all Sahrawi political prisoners; welcomes the establishment of a Special Envoy for the Sahel and stresses the need for international monitoring of the human rights situation in Western Sahara; supports a fair and lasting settlement of the conflict on the basis of the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions
 
Western Sahara occupied, Africa re-colonised
Lunes, 04 de Marzo de 2013 18:22
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Malainin Lakhal

The conflict in Western Sahara seems to gain more and more visibility and importance in the regional and international geopolitics this last decade, despite the great lack of media coverage and academic analysis of its different facts, aspects, possible consequences and perspectives. It is thanks to some brilliant academics, jurists, human rights defenders, activists and journalists, both foreign and Saharawi that the question of Western Sahara has remained impossible to ignore whenever the debate tackles the future of North Africa, the Maghreb Union, the North-South and South-South interrelations and influence.

This clear-cut and easily identified conflict is about decolonisation in terms of international law. It is brought to the spotlight by the contributors in this Pambazuka special issue on Western Sahara. They have proven each in his or her own way how the Western Sahara conflict is made complicated by the opposite positions held by the two parties to the conflict, Polisario and Morocco. The former wants decolonisation and self-determination, the latter wants territorial expansion by military means. But also by the conflicting geo-political agendas of the regional actors and the super power nations who have their own agendas and strategic goals, not only regarding their position on Western Sahara, but also their vision of the future of all North Africa, African Union and the Middle East.

THE LAST COLONY OF AFRICA MUST BE FREE

Leer más...
 
CONCENTRACIÓN POR LA CONDENA A ACTIVISTAS SAHARAUIS
Martes, 19 de Febrero de 2013 11:25
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Ante la injusta e ignominiosa condena (8 cadenas perpetuas y otras que van desde los 2 a los 30 años de prisión) de un tribunal militar a 24 saharauis, defensores de los Derechos Humanos del campamento de la libertad, Gdéim Izik, que fue arrasado por las fuerzas de seguridad marroquíes en El Aaiún (Sahara Occidental) en noviembre de 2010, CEAS-Sáhara, PAPPS, Sahara Thawra, WSRW y la , con el apoyo de diversas fuerzas políticas, sindicales y sociales, convocamos una concentración ante la sede del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores. Pedimos al Gobierno de España que actúe urgentemente ante Marruecos contra este nuevo ataque al pueblo Saharaui, pendiente aún de descolonizar y al que ocupó militarmente en 1975, y donde viola constantemente los DDHH.


 
Llamamiento de observadores y juristas para la nueva convocatoria del jucio de los presos saharauis de Gdeim Izik. 8/02/2013
Jueves, 07 de Febrero de 2013 11:47
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En la cárcel de Salé, en Marruecos, siguen privados de su libertad el grupo de presos políticos de Gdeim Izik. Hace dos años que esperan su puesta en libertad o la realización de un juicio.

Tristemente, ambas opciones no se han llevado a cabo dando la sensación que el régimen marroquí quisiese que su historia se apagase entre las paredes de Salé. Sin embargo esto no será posible porque tanto ellos como sus familias y todos los que creemos en la libertad y la justicia no los olvidamos.

 

Escribimos en esta ocasión nuevamente sobre ellos ya que se ha lanzado una nueva convocatoria para el tan esperado juicio de los presos de Salé, tras el pasado aplazamiento el día 1 de febrero de 2013.
Recordemos que tiempo atrás también hemos atendido en varias ocasiones la realización de dicho juicio (Enero y Octubre de 2012) el cual nunca se ha llevado a cabo. La cancelación continua de este modo de expresión es una de las tácticas que sigue en régimen marroquí para con la cuestión del Sahara Occidental, intentando provocar cansancio y desidia entre los propios presos y aquellos que los apoyamos.
Por este motivo hacemos un llamamiento a observadores y juristas internacionales. La importancia de la asistencia al juicio es vital para la pronta libertad de los presos de Salé. El juicio está previsto para el próximo 8 de febrero de 2013. Si quieres asistir no dudes en contactarnos, no dudes en la importancia de tu presencia, tanto como apoyo, como testigo, como denuncia y como fuente de difusión de la voz de los presos saharauis, sus familias y de lo que suceda en el jucio.
Desde Thawra, una vez más, nos ponemos a disposición de toda persona que quiera asistir a dicho jucio, aportando orientación, logística y soporte.
Puedes contactarnos en: saharathawra@gmail.com
¡Por la libertad de los presos políticos saharauis!
¡NO ESTÁIS SOLOS!

 

 
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