sexta-feira, 17 de abril de 2009

AWSA calls for the protection of human rights in the occupied Western Sahara

The Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA) called today on the UN Security Council’s President, Amb. Claude Heller, to guarantee the protection of human rights in the occupied zones of Western Sahara.

The letter, also addressed to the Australian Minister of FA, Hon. Stephen Smith, and the Moroccan Ambassador in Australia, expressed concerns about the treatment of the Moroccan authorities to Saharawi prisoners of conscience, especially three prisoners who has recently suspended a 56 days hunger strike.

Here is the complete text of the letter AWSA sent to the President of the UN Security Council:

Dear Ambassador

I am writing on behalf of the Australia Western Sahara Association concerning the situation of three Saharawi political prisoners - Brahim Baryaz, Alisalem Ablagh and Khallihanna Aboulhassan being held by the Moroccan authorities.

The prisoners have suspended a lengthy hunger strike following negotiations between their families and representatives of the General Delegation of the Prisons Administration in Morocco on Wednesday 8 April 2009 and the local prison administration in Marrakesh.

We understand that this suspension is of a temporary nature while the authorities fulfill their undertakings that some of the miserable conditions of the prison will be improved and that the prisoners’ appeal to be treated as prisoners of conscience is considered.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented consistent abuses of Saharawi human rights in the occupied territory, often in respect of protests to support the proposed UN referendum for self determination, a proposal which is within international law. Accordingly these three, Brahim Baryaz, Alisalem Ablagh and Khallihanna Aboulhassan, are political prisoners and their conditions of imprisonment should reflect this.

AWSA asks the United Nations Security Council to urge the Moroccan Authorities that these and other political prisoners to be afforded humane treatment, and that the human rights of all those in the occupied territories be protected.

We look forward to hearing from you on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Lesley Osborne
AWSA Vice President

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