sexta-feira, 28 de novembro de 2008

Australian Maritime Union protests shipment

The bulk vessel Furness Karumba arrived this port in Perth, Australia, in August.

In August, Western Sahara Resource Watch wrote about the arrival of the bulk vessel Furness Karumba to Perth, Australia. The vessel contained phosphates from occupied Western Sahara, thus supporting the Moroccan illegal plundering of Western Sahara.

Upon the arrival of the vessel, the West Australian Branch of The Maritime Union of Australia on 3rd of September personally handed over a letter to the captain of the vessel, protesting such trade. The letter was also sent to the companies involved in the transport, as well as to Wesfarmers CSBP, the local importer.

Art Tifariti is an opportunity to defend Saharawi people’s right to self-determination

--(Sahara Press Service-Special Envoy)--

The President of the Association of Friends of the Saharawi people in the capital of Andalusia, Seville, Fernando Berita, said that the Seminar “ArtTifariti” is "an opportunity to defend Saharawi people’s right to self-determination".

In a statement to the SPS, Fernando said that "ArtTifariti is not a neutral art, it’s in fact a way to defend peoples’ rights, in particular the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination".

He denounced the repression imposed by the Moroccan authorities against defenceless Saharawi citizens in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, who demonstrate peacefully demanding their right to freely choose their future.

In this regard, Fernando paid tribute to the Saharawi human rights activists, including Aminetou Haidar, who has just been awarded the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Award in recognition for her activism in favour of the respect of human rights in Western Sahara.

On the other hand, POLISARIO Front’s representative in Andalusia, Bouchraya Abidine, said that the massive presence of artists from different continents, will help promote the just cause of Western Sahara at the international level.

The Saharawi diplomat reiterated that ArtTifariti "is another front and a peaceful expression that backs up the rights of the Saharawi people to self-determination", denouncing the repression perpetrated by Morocco against Saharawi citizens, including the Saharawi human rights defenders in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, Southern Morocco and the Moroccan universities.

The second edition of the ArtTifariti continues in the town of Tifariti in the Saharawi liberated territories, in the presence of international artists from different continents who came to express, through art, their support and solidarity with the Saharawi.

Inaugural launch of the Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group with Western Sahara

The Australian “Parliamentary Friends of Western Sahara Group” was officially launched Wednesday night (26 November 2008), during a dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra.

The inaugural dinner was attended by many members of Parliament from all parties, members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of NGOs and trade unions as well as members of the Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA).

The Friendship Group is composed until now of about 20 members from all the main Australian political parties and from the two Houses of Parliament (House of Representatives and the Senate). The Chair of the Group is from the governing party, the Labour Party, the Deputy Chair of the Group is from the main opposition, Liberal Party and the Secretary of the Friendship Group is from the Australian Greens Party.

Ms. Janelle Saffin, Member of the House of Representatives and member of the Friendship Group, spoke during the launch ceremony, on behalf of the Chair of the Group.

Ms. Saffin, MP, pledged the support of the members of Parliament to the Saharawi people and their just cause. She underlined the fact that the Saharawi cause enjoys the support of all political parties in Australia.

She said that Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara is illegal and must end. Ms. Saffin explained that she has witnessed first hand the difficulties of life in the refugee camps during a visit few years ago.

The Representative of Polisario Front in Australia, Mr. Kamal Fadel, expressed the sincere thanks and gratitude of the Saharawi people to the members of Parliament who have joined the “Parliamentary Friends of Western Sahara Group”.

He also thanked the group of Ambassadors who have attended and all those who were present and particularly the members of the AWSA, who contributed towards the success of the launch event.

The Saharawi Representative further explained that the launch of the Group is a historic and very significant event. The number of Parliamentarians who have joined and “the fact that they represent all the main political parties in Australia is important”, he stressed.

He said that this initiative will help raise the profile of Western Sahara in Australia. He also outlined about how Western Sahara is relevant to Australia because Australia is interested in the role of the UN and the respect of international legality.

Australia also gives high priority to the respect of international human rights standards and is dependent on the phosphate imported from Western Sahara, though its illegal to exploit natural resources of Non-Self-Governing territories.

The Representative of Polisario explained the background of the issue of Western Sahara and its similarities with East Timor in which Australia played an important role.

He hoped that the Australian people will continue their support to the Saharawi cause until they achieve their freedom and return to their homeland to live in liberty and dignity.

Ms. Lesley Osborne, Deputy President of the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) spoke during the event, stressing her association’s great satisfaction that the Friendship Group has been established.

She reaffirmed AWSA’s support to the Group, explaining that the association has been active in promoting the Saharawi cause in Australia and is very pleased that a great number of Parliamentarians have joined this noble struggle for international justice.