Since the breaking of the ceasefire agreements by Morocco in November 2020, there has been an escalation of tensions between the Moroccan army and the Polisario Front, which has resulted in an increase in oppression and repression against the civilian population and Sahrawi activists of the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
In the last year, Sahrawi activists have been the target of targeted attacks by the Moroccan occupation forces, making life more difficult in the occupied areas and generating a worrying increase in human rights violations.
The increase in repression and human rights violations one year after the breakdown of the ceasefire agreements are quantified and contextualized in more than 160 violations of social, economic, civil and political rights, which have been documented in occupied Western Sahara. Affecting to a large extent women and minors, groups that are specifically protected by International Humanitarian Law.
The restriction imposed by the occupation forces with the excuse of confinement, limit the possibilities to collect and document the abuses. The lack of freedom of movement, the absence of reporting institutions, the limited means and the lack of freedom of expression and information, make it difficult to monitor violations rigorously and prevent obtaining graphic testimonies, medical reports or people willing to tell the attacks suffered without risk of reprisals.
Since the eviction of Gdeim Izik in 2010, the systematic policy of shielding and expelling international observers has also made access to this territory difficult as the violation of human rights is increasingly serious.
The Saharawi people in the Occupied Territories, in the refugee camps in Tindouf and in the diaspora, together with the ACAPS Federation, NOVACT, AFAPREDESA and the Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara (GSGPPHRWS) denounce: the increased repression by the Moroccan occupation forces in occupied Western Sahara against the Sahrawi people in the wake of the clashes between Morocco and the Polisario Front in November 2020, as well as the lack of agreement to implement official mechanisms for monitoring and reporting human rights violations, which fuels the context of occupation and impunity that Morocco exercises in Western Sahara.
The Saharawi civil society in the Occupied Territories, the refugee camps in Tindouf and the diaspora, together with the Federation ACAPS, NOVACT, AFAPREDESA and the GSGPPHRWS denounce the increase in repression by the Moroccan authorities in Western Sahara against voices criticism and Sahrawi activism as a result of the confrontations between Morocco and the Polisario Front in November 2020, as well as the lack of agreement to implement official mechanisms for monitoring and reporting violations that fuels the context of impunity.
For all this, we demand:
To the United Nations agencies
That the UN Secretary General report to the UN Security Council on the violation of international law, international humanitarian law and human rights in Western Sahara.
That the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in conflict, investigate and denounce the aggressions and sexual violence suffered by the Sahrawi people and, especially, Sahrawi women activists in the occupied territories.
That the UN General Assembly assume its legal and political responsibilities to finish the decolonization process of Western Sahara, in accordance with its resolutions 1514 (XV), 1956 (XVIII), 2229 (XXI) and 34/37.
That the UN Security Council include the observation and denunciation of the violation of human rights and the guarantee of the rule of law, in the mandate of MINURSO.
That MINURSO protect the civilian population in the areas closest to the development of hostilities and urgently take control of the buffer zone south of Western Sahara and ensure that it remains demilitarized.
That the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights immediately send an observation mission to Western Sahara and systematically pronounce and condemn serious violations of international humanitarian law and serious violations and abuses of international human rights law and take concrete measures to guarantee the responsibility of Morocco as the occupying power of Western Sahara.
That the UN Human Rights Council consider the creation of a mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the situation in occupied Western Sahara, in order to effectively protect the rights of specially protected population groups, such as women and children and adolescence.
To the International Committee of the Red Cross and the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions
That the ICRC be allowed to visit and assist protected persons, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
That all the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 comply with their imperative obligation enshrined in Article 1 and guarantee respect for the Convention in Western Sahara.
JOIN THE MANIFESTO
If you are an organisation or an individual person, sign the manifesto and join the social media campaign with the hashtag #SpotlightOnWesternSahara, to denounce the increasing human rights violations and repression against Sahrawi activists, human rights defenders, organisations, journalists and civilians in occupied Western Sahara by the Moroccan occupying forces.
- Federeació ACAPS (Spain)
- Novact (Spain)
- Asociación Ecuatoriana de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui (AEAPS) (Ecuador)
- Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM) (Spain)
- Madrasa Catalunya (Catalonia)
- NomadsHRC (Spain)
- FiSahara (Spain)
- ESCOLA EN PAU
- Amigos por un Sahara Libre (México)
- Plataforma Saguía el Hamra PSH (Spain)
- International Platform of Jurists for East Timor (Netherlands)
- Asociación de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Segovia (Spain)
- Equipo RASD TV (Western Sahara)
- Nación Andaluza (Spain)
- ACAPS Anoia (Catalonia)
- Consell Nacional de la Joventut de Catalunya (CNJC) (Spain)
- ASVDH (Western Sahara)
- Liga de Estudiantes y Jóvenes Saharauis en el Estado Español (Spain)
- Club de lectura feminista y lgtbi “Lees otras cosas” (Spain)
- Mamuni Sidi (Spain)
- Bachari Laabeid (Western Sahara)
- Ahmed Hamadi (Spain)
- Alamu Aomar (Spain)
- Albert Giralt (Spain)
- Toni Guirao (Spain)
- Sonia Herrero (Spain)
- Esther Tena (Spain)
- Camille Baldran (France)
- Lucille Maybon (France)
- Óscar Cejudo Corbalán (Spain)
- Catherine Le Moullec (France)
- Joussour de Citoyenneté (France)
- Datxu Peris Garcia (España)
- Daniel Fondón (Spain)
- Maribel Corbalán Sampayo (Spain)
- Juan Antonio Cejudo Pavon (Spain)
- Fatimetu yember (Spain)
- Mamina Chej Malainin (Spain)
- Vanesa Merino Aparicio (Spain)
- Clara Calderó Delgado (Spain)
- Alexia Regas (Spain)