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"Justice has been gagged, Moroccan intransigence rewarded"


14 Apr 2010


Global Europe

GUE/NGL welcomes Aminetu Haidar to Madrid Study Days

"EU silence on the continuous flouting of human rights by Morocco in its illegal occupation of Western Sahara is exacerbating the trauma being suffered by the Saharawi people" Aminetu Haidar told the GUE/NGL Study Days meeting today in Madrid.

"The Western Sahara conflict has had dramatic consequences for human rights since the invasion by Morocco in 1975" the Saharawi human rights activist said. "This invasion was followed by a policy of systematic oppression of the Saharawi people involving torture and disappearances".

Like thousands of activists detained illegally on bogus accusations, Haidar was imprisoned for four years in unspeakable conditions for having campaigned against abuses committed by Moroccan authorities. Currently 26 imprisoned Saharawis are on hunger strike in Moroccan jails.

"Since the undignified granting of advanced status to Morocco in its relations with the EU, that country continues to infringe human rights standards and international law" Spanish MEP Willy Meyer said, condemning the continuous attacks on those living in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and calling for "the finger of blame to be pointed at the Spanish government" for its silence on the issue.  

Chairing the meeting, Portuguese MEP Miguel Portas described the recent EU-Morocco fisheries agreement as "an abominable breach of international law" and called for a referendum in Western Sahara on self-determination. " Morocco's intransigence and unwillingness to compromise is a result of the EU's schizophrenic policy on the issue and the gap between its actions and discourse" he said.

Also taking part in the discussion, Spanish actor Willy Toledo praised the "exemplary peaceful and democratic struggle of the Saharawi people in spite of severe oppression and horrific conditions".

Following the meeting, Willy Meyer led a delegation of GUE/NGL MEPs to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a letter calling on Minister Moratinos to use the Spanish Presidency of the EU to push for the liberation of Saharawi political prisoners, respect for human rights and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

European United Left/Nordic Green Left Study Days : 12-15 April 2010

Hotel Rafael Atocha, Mendez Alvaro, 30 - 28045 Madrid


Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28 

Sonja Giese + 32 486 94 50 21

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12