quarta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2009

Saharawi workers denied access to the European Parlaiemt’s Ad Hoc Delegation in El Aaiun

The Trade Unionists’ Confederation in Western Sahara (CC.OO.S) was denied access to the members of the European Parliament’s Ad Hoc Delegation, the Confederation indicated in a press release.

The members of the Confederation, Sidi Ahmed Dia, Hallab Bachir Khalil, Saaidi El Houssein, were not allowed to meet the members of the Parliament’s Ad-Hoc delegation, which came to El Aaiun yesterday, supposedly to meet the Saharawi human rights activists and victims of the Moroccan repression.

The CC.OO.S condemned this Moroccan attitude, and criticised the work and procedures adopted by the European Ad-Hoc Delegation, which was confined in the hotel of Parador and had in all cases to get out and accompany the activists in otherwise the Moroccan police intimidate them and chase them.

CC.OO.S also criticised the programme of the European delegation, considering that dedicating one single day to visit the occupied zones under such conditions of tight police surveillance and lock-down is no use.

They also called on international trade unions and human rights organisations to massively intervene and express condemnation of the Moroccan occupation in Western Sahara, and on the other hand support and express solidarity with Saharawi trade unionists in the territory.

The Moroccan forces of occupation proceeded on Monday evening to close off the principal streets leading to the town of El Aaiun (Western Sahara) on the eve of the arrival of the ad hoc mission from the European Parliament to Western Sahara, it should be recalled.

There was also a large redeployment of Moroccan information services in the various arteries of the town, held under patrols of the forces of repression which line the popular quarters, notably Hay Maatallah, in order to prevent any demonstration calling for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people.

These same forces, some disguised in plainclothes, proceeded to surveillance of the homes of Saharawi human rights defenders, concordant sources from the occupied zones indicated.

Elsewhere, Saharawi human rights activists were arrested, such as El Hafed Toubali who underwent interrogation relating to the agenda of the meeting with the ad hoc mission of the European Parliament.

The joint delegation of the Ad Hoc Delegation and the Maghreb Delegation, respectively chaired by Mr Joannis Kassoulides, MEP and former Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Carlos Uturgaiz, MEP and president of the Maghreb delegation arrived on Tuesday in El Aaiun where it met several Saharawi NGOs, human rights defenders, victims of repression and members of the families of disappeared Saharawis.

The delegation had been set up at the end of the resolution of 27 October 2005, with its mission to inquire into the human rights situation in Western Sahara and to report back to the European Parliament.

Since 2005, the Moroccan authorities using manoeuvres and arguing on false pretexts, have attempted by every means to stop the visit of the Ad Hoc Delegation to the occupied territories of Western Sahara where terror and repression hold sway amongst Saharawi populations, said the Minister Counselor to the President of the Saharawi Republic, Mr Mohamed Sidati.

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