quarta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2008
Alger, Le "statut avancé" que l'Union européenne (UE) envisage d'accorder au Maroc "ne doit pas inclure le Sahara occidental", a recommandé mardi la Ligue française des droits de l'homme (LDH) sur son site Internet.
L'UE et le Maroc sont en train de mener des discussions pour "approfondir leurs relations par le bais de cet accord, et jusqu'à présent, dans les rapports sur les négociations euro marocaines, il n'est nullement fait mention de l'exclusion du Sahara occidental de cet accord", constate la LDH.
Elle a ajouté que si l'UE décidait d'accorder ce statut avancé par le biais des négociations menées avec le Maroc, "puissance occupante", elle donnerait un "signal de soutien à la revendication territoriale marocaine infondée".
"Une telle décision pourrait mettre en danger les effort des Nations unies pour décoloniser le territoire", a averti l'organisation, tout en soulignant que le Maroc "a toujours été et est encore une puissance occupante au Sahara occidental, en violation de plus d'une centaine de résolutions de l'Onu qui exigent le droit à l'autodétermination pour le peuple sahraoui".
Rappelant les différentes résolutions mettant en évidence que le Sahara occidental est un territoire occupé et annexé et traitant la question sahraouie comme un problème de décolonisation, la LDH a indiqué qu'au regard du droit international en vigueur, l'UE et ses Etats membres "ont le devoir de ne pas reconnaître l'annexion du Sahara occidental par le Maroc, et de soutenir la décolonisation du territoire".
"Cela relève également d'un devoir moral, tant que le peuple sahraoui souffre de l'exil et subit les violations des droits humains par les forces d'occupation dans les territoires occupés du Sahara occidental", note la LDH.
"L'UE doit montrer clairement que le Sahara occidental est exclu sans ambiguïté de la zone d'application territoriale de l'accord de statut avancé, sans en confier la responsabilité au Maroc", insiste encore la Ligue des droits de l'homme.
La LDH a appelé l'UE à suivre l'exemple des Etats-Unis qui ont spécifiquement exclu le Sahara occidental de leur accord de libre échange avec le Maroc, et à soutenir le processus de paix mené par l'Onu.
Madrid, Le Parlement régional de Cantabrie (nord de l'Espagne) a adopté lundi une résolution de soutien au peuple sahraoui dans laquelle il a appelé au respect des droits de l'homme dans les territoires sahraouis occupés par le Maroc, et à la mise en œuvre des résolutions de l'ONU en faveur de l'autodétermination au Sahara occidental, a-t-on appris mardi auprès de cette institution.
Dans leur résolution, les parlementaires ont lancé un appel pressant en faveur du respect des droits de l'homme dans les territoires sahraouis occupés, et réitéré leur engagement avec le peuple sahraoui, à travers le Parlement de Cantabrie.
Ils ont également rappelé la "nécessaire mise en application des résolutions des Nations Unies", en faveur du droit à l'autodétermination du peuple sahraoui, et de "mettre fin, définitivement, au conflit du Sahara occidental dont est victime la population sahraouie depuis l'occupation (par le Maroc) de l'ancienne colonie espagnole, il y 33 ans".
Concernant la situation humanitaire des réfugiés sahraouis, les parlementaires ont demandé aux agences humanitaires des Nations Unies de "s'éloigner des pressions auxquelles elles peuvent être soumises, et de s'acquitter de leurs obligations telles que définies dans les engagements pris en matière d'aide humanitaire, de santé, d'éducation, de culture et de formation, en tenant compte des considérations particulières et spécifiques liées à la durée de l'exil".
Dans ce cadre, ils encouragent le gouvernement régional de Cantabrie à accroître de "manière décidée" sa coopération avec le peuple sahraoui, dont les réfugiés vivent actuellement une "grave situation" au plan humanitaire.
Le texte a été adopté à la faveur de la célébration du 60 ème anniversaire de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme et sur la base des décisions prises lors de la 34ème Conférence européenne de solidarité avec le peuple sahraoui (Eucoco), tenue le mois dernier à Valence (Est de l'Espagne).
The Swedish Green Party signed an international petition launched last November by Western Sahara Resource Watch, WSRW, which demands that Western Sahara should be explicitly excluded if the EU and Morocco agrees on deepened cooperation.
Ellinor Scheffert indicated in her statement that "it is evident for the Green Party to support this petition”, because “a close cooperation between the EU and Morocco, where the Saharawi territory is included, would help to give further legitimacy to the occupation”.
“Unfortunately, she added, today the world gives its silent consent to the occupation of Western Sahara and to the torture and discrimination of the Saharawis. Morocco’s actions violate international law and human rights, they defy the United Nations, the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the African Union”, the international spokesperson of the Green Party said in a press release today.
For further information:
Ellinor Scheffert, (+46) (0)702-93 55 74
Mattias Bengtsson, press secretary, (+46) (0)736-27 53 83
Index: MDE 29/016/2008
Date: 23 December 2008
Morocco/Western Sahara: Irregularities in Sahrawi activist’s trial
Amnesty International is concerned about the recent sentencing of Sahrawi activist Mustafa Abdel Dayem, currently on hunger strike, to three years in prison on the basis of what he claims was a falsified record of statements he made in custody. The organization is also concerned that other aspects of Mustafa Abdel Dayem’s trial proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards as he was denied the right to legal counsel during his appeal hearing. His case was submitted several days ago to Morocco’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, which can review the alleged irregularities in his trial and, if confirmed, dismiss the ruling and send the case for retrial by a lower court.
Amnesty International fears that Mustafa Abdel Dayem’s conviction may have been intended to punish him for his public support for the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara and for the Polisario Front, which calls for an independent state in Western Sahara and runs a self-proclaimed government-in-exile in refugee camps in south-western Algeria.
Mustafa Abdel Dayem, member of both the Assa-Zag Branch of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights and the Sahrawi Journalists’ and Writers’ Union, was arrested without a warrant on the evening of 27 October 2008 at his home in Assa in southern Morocco and taken to the Royal Gendarmerie Station in the same city. His arrest followed anti-government protests in Assa earlier that day by Sahrawi members of the population calling for the creation of employment opportunities and the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination. While Mustafa Abdel Dayem claims not to have participated in the protests, he admits to having lowered the Moroccan flag from the ‘Alal Al-Fassi secondary school, where he worked as a security guard. He explains that his action was intended to show his support and solidarity with the demonstrators and his opposition to the intervention of law enforcement officers to break up the protests.
On 4 November 2008, the Court of First Instance of Guelmim sentenced Mustafa Abdel Dayem to a three-year prison term and a fine of 50,000 dirhams (approximately US$6,220) for offending the flag of the Kingdom of Morocco, rebelling and inciting an armed gathering, participating in the destruction of public property and participating in the contempt of public officials on duty. The sentence also included a prohibition on Mustafa Abdel Dayem from practicing teaching or working in any educational institution for a period of 10 years. Mustafa Abdel Dayem insists that the record of his questioning by the Royal Gendarmerie (procès-verbal), on which his conviction was largely based, was falsified – attributing to him acts which he neither committed nor confessed to committing during his interrogation at the Royal Gendarmerie station in Assa. He argued that he had signed a procès-verbal following his questioning, whereas the one presented to the court was unsigned. During the hearing, his defence team walked out in protest at the court’s refusal to call on the Royal Gendarmerie to produce as evidence the procès-verbal signed by Mustafa Abdel Dayem.
During his appeal trial, Mustafa Abdel Dayem was denied his right to be defended by legal counsel. According to members of his defence team, none of his lawyers was summoned to the appeal hearings which took place at the Court of Appeals of Agadir. Furthermore, Mustafa Abdel Dayem claims that his request to postpone the second hearing on 11 December until his lawyers were present or until he had had the opportunity to constitute a different defence team was rejected by the court, which confirmed the lower court’s conviction later that day. On 19 December his lawyers submitted an appeal against the ruling to the Court of Cassation, which is mandated to review cases only on questions of procedure, but no date has yet been set for its consideration of the case.
Mustafa Abdel Dayem, currently incarcerated at Inzegane Prison in Agadir, has reportedly been on hunger strike since 13 December 2008 to protest the Court of First Instance’s refusal to request as evidence his signed procès-verbal to the Royal Gendarmerie and the Court of Appeal’s insistence on pronouncing its decision despite the absence of his defence team. Seven of his family members in Assa, including his parents, who are elderly, started a hunger strike on the same day in solidarity with him, threatening to continue it until he is retried in a trial meeting international standards.
Since 2005, dozens of Sahrawis have been charged with violent conduct and detained after being arrested during or after demonstrations against Moroccan rule in Western Sahara. Many of those arrested allege that they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated to force them to sign confessions, to intimidate them from protesting further or to punish them for demanding the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.
The Moroccan authorities continue to claim that those imprisoned were involved in criminal acts and are not being held for their views. Amnesty International has serious concerns about the fairness of their trials, including that some of the evidence was tainted on account of unexamined claims of torture or other ill-treatment and that defendants were not permitted to call defence witnesses
In October 2008, Yahya Mohamed ElHafed, member of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders, was found guilty of violent conduct and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in connection with his participation in a protest in Tan Tan against Moroccan rule. Eight other defendants received sentences of up to four years in prison. Allegations that they were tortured during questioning were not investigated.
In April this year, Swedish Trade Council opened an office in Casablanca, Morocco. As preparation of the opening of the office, the Council had on 6th March made a folder with information on the business opportunities in Morocco. Download folder here.
The only map in the folder, outlined the activities of ANAFAP, the umbrella organisation for fishmeal and fish oil producers in Morocco - and Western Sahara. But the map made no distinction of the two countries, and did not outline the internationally recognised border between Morocco and Western Sahara. See the map below.
"I get upset by the Trade Council’s folder, in which one really urges Swedish businesses to participate in the plundering of an occupied country. The government must now act so that a governmental authority like the Trade Council do not work against the clear majority in the Swedish parliament that consider Western Sahara as occupied", said parliamentarian Mr. Hans Linde, to the Swedish magazine Västsahara.
"Oops, we are going to change that map", said Helena Olsson, Director Corporate Communications at the Swedish Trade Council when she was made aware of the issue by Västsahara.
She underlined that they cooperate closely with the Swedish embassy in Rabat, and follow the recommendations by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The [Swedish] Ministry of Foreign Affairs will immediately contact the Trade Council and make them aware of the position of the Swedish government on the status on Western Sahara, and that this map is not in line with this position", said Mrs. Ulla Eriksson-Moberg at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the same publication.
Then, all information relating to fisheries was simply removed from the folder. That included pages 17, 18 and 19, including the information on "Fishmeal and fish oil producers in Morocco", as well as the only map of Morocco in the entire folder.
The new version of the folder was edited by the local staff at the Trade Council’s Casablanca office on the 28th of November 2008. Download the new version here
In a letter he addressed to the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Abdelaziz renewed Saharawi "call for an urgent and immediate intervention to protect innocent lives, and stop the brutal repression and gross violations of human rights by the Moroccan State against the Saharawi people, which involve children, in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, Southern Morocco and in Moroccan universities."
"The girl suffers from traces of torture by police agents: Abdessamed Bahli, Salem Bougteib, Zakria Beiti and Abderrahmane Mcheichou", the Saharawi president indicated.
In the same letter, the President of the Republic informed Ban Ki-Moon that the sister of the Saharawi journalist, Mustapha Abd Dayem, was transferred in coma to the hospital of Goulimime, due to deteriorating health," while she was participating to a hunger strike with 7 of the member of her family to protest against the unfair trail the Moroccan authorities orchestrated against her brother.
"Concerning the case of the journalist and prisoner of conscience, Moustapha Abd Dayem, who bears the burden of a poor family, composed of elderly and young children, he is undertaking a hunger strike for over a week," said Abdelaziz.
He also drew attention to "the seriousness of the incident and the plight of the Saharawis under Moroccan occupation", citing the recent report of Human Rights Watch, which accused Morocco of serious violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, as it was already unveiled by the report of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights of 2006.
"We reiterate in this letter our request to intervene vis-à-vis the Moroccan Government to immediately and unconditionally release all the Saharawi political prisoners and to lift the secrecy on the fate of more than 500 missing Saharawi civilians and 151 Saharawi prisoners of war, "concluded the letter.
The Irish capital hosts a photographic exhibition on the sufferings of the Saharawi people under Moroccan occupation
A large part of the exhibition is devoted to the sufferings of the Saharawi people under the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara and practices against Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons including, among others, former Saharawi political detainee, Mrs. Jimmy Ghalia.
Moroccan illegal plundering of the resources of Western Sahara was also present at the exhibition through photographs of Moroccan fishermen prowling fish from the Saharawi coasts.
The exhibition, which witnessed a large attendance, reflects the daily sufferings of the Saharawi people, how they are repressed by Morocco, their sufferings of Morocco’s injustice and their appeal for the international community to help them protect their legitimate rights and the natural wealth of their country.
Dozens of citizens, including women and children have participated in two demonstrations in Lahohum neighbourhood before Moroccan repressive forces intervened and arrested three young saharawis: Rageb Baihi, Alhnafi Ghazoani and Mohamed Baihi.
In the same context, Ibn Battuta School in Al-Amal Square in the same city lived a violent intervention of the Moroccan police forces after dozens of students gathered in a peaceful demonstration to demand the right to self-determination.
The intervention resulted in the arrest of five students, mainly Bourkba Ahmed, Salem Touif, Ahmed Khalil, Essami Mohamed, and Faitah Mohamed before being released after they were beaten and intimidated.
Meanwhile, the Saharawi political detainees in the Black prison (Carcel Negra) in El Aaiun started a 48 hours hunger strike to protest against their imprisonment in the same cell with criminals.