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MEPs denounce Morocco's human rights violations in Western Sahara and demand immediate release of all Saharawi political prisoners


23 Oct 2013


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Following a vote on a report* containing key demands related to the Human rights situation in Western Sahara, GUE/NGL MEPs have condemned abuses by Morocco and reiterated their solidarity with the Sahrawi people's peaceful struggle for self-determination.


Spanish MEP Willy Meyer recalled that while the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross is visiting the occupied territories of Western Sahara (El Aaiun and Smara), Moroccan forces are attacking peaceful demonstrations.


"I think this repression in the presence of the Special Envoy is a scandal" Meyer said, "urging Parliament, Commission and the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy to send a quick and unequivocal message that the repression of the Saharawi people must end. It seems unlikely that the EU, which maintains an advanced status Association Agreement with Morocco, will not use its position to stop this repression in the occupied territories of Western Sahara."


Speaking during last night's debate on the Tannock report, Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber said "a tragic situation has been developing for decades in Western Sahara."


*The Tannock report expresses deep concern at recent reports on Torture that show that Moroccan officials have detained individuals on political grounds, subjected Sahrawi inmates to torture and rape, kidnapped and abandoned protesters in the desert in order to intimidate them, and deliberately and frequently targeted Sahrawis. It calls for a UN Human Rights monitoring mechanism in Western Sahara and on the Moroccan authorities "to release immediately all Sahrawi political prisoners".


Earlier, GUE/NGL MEPs together with other MEPs actives the European Parliament Intergroup "Peace for the Sahrawi People" gathered outside the hemicycle (see photos here: to show solidarity with the Sahrawi people who are resisting the repression and to send a signal of support for their peaceful struggle for self-determination.

GUE/NGL Press:

David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09

Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left/Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group


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