Morocco inflicting abuses on Western Saharans

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In a damning report released, Friday, by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the group has highlighted the pitiful state of human liberties in Western Sahara and has since urged Rabat to stop violating the rights to freedom of expression in the territory it has been occupying since 1976.

The 216 page report, entitled “Human rights in Western Sahara and the refugee camps in Tindouf,” mentioned the “repressive laws, police violence and unfair trials against Sahraouis” in their peaceful struggle “for independence or full self-determination for Western Sahara”.

The document reveals that “Morocco has administered Western Sahara de facto” since its troops entered the territory following the withdrawal of Spain from its former colony in 1976. Morocco officially refers to the region as part of its southern provinces, although the UN does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty.

In the same context, HRW indicates that the Moroccan authorities consider any opposition to their administration of the disputed territory as an affront to their territorial integrity, giving them the audacity to arrest Sahraoui human rights activists on the grounds of incitement or participation in acts of violence based on dubious evidence at trials that have been “manifestly unfair”.

Meanwhile, human rights activist, Arab Aknine of the Algerian League of Human Rights (ALHR) in Kabylia, has given credibility to the arguments developed by HRW, while acknowledging the efforts of the international organization to propagate the principles of human rights around the world.

“As a militant for human rights, I applaud the efforts made by Human Rights Watch to arrest human right violations in general and particularly against Saharans.”

The situation in Western Sahara and the refugee camps of Tindouf, southwest of Algeria, has triggered great concern among defenders of human rights.

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