Danish conference on Western Sahara conflict brings conflicting parties together

The Danish United Nations Association hosted an international conference on the conflict in Western Sahara in Copenhagen on Saturday. The conference included presentations from both parties to the conflict, as well as from former UN representatives, experts, and Scandinavian politicians.

“We believe that it is vital that the Western Sahara conflict is finally put firmly on the international agenda”, the Danish UN Association said in a press release prior to the conference. “Having representatives from both sides of the conflict will enable us to shed light on the conflict in a way that hasn’t been seen before in Denmark”.

Danish Major General, and former commander of the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO), Kurt Mosgaard, gave the first presentation where he amongst other things argued that in order to have a fruitful discussion on the issue of Western Sahara, Read more of this post

Danmark er en del af løsningen for besat Vestsahara, siger MR-forkæmper

Der er fornyet håb for at Vestsahara-konflikten kan ende fredeligt, sagde menneskerettighedsforkæmper Ali Salem Tamek onsdag [24. april] under et besøg i Danmark, hvor han var inviteret af solidaritetsorganisationen Afrika Kontakt. ”Men det kræver handling fra lande som Danmark”.

Ali Salem Tamek er vicepræsident i Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Han har været fængslet fem gange af kolonimagten Marokko (der besatte Vestsahara i 1975), har sultestrejket i fængslet 29 gange i protest imod forholdene i fængslet, og hans kone er blevet voldtaget af marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker fordi hun ikke ville udspionere sin mand.

Tamek betragtedes desuden som en samvittighedsfange af Amnesty International, Read more of this post

Africa Contact condemns Moroccan military court’s severe punishment of human rights activists

Press release: Africa Contact strongly condemns the harsh and unjust sentences given February 17th,  by a Moroccan military court to 24 Saharawis – Western
Sahara’s indigenous population, just for demanding the right to live in their own country without Moroccan occupation and discrimination.

One of the accused, Chaikh Banga, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, said during the trial: “If my love for my country is considered an offense let the world witness that I am a gangster.” Read more of this post

Danish protest against Moroccan kangaroo court

Today, representatives of Danish solidarity organization Africa Contact, the Danish political party the Red-Green Alliance, Polisario, and others staged a protest outside the Moroccan Embassy in Copenhagen.

The focus of the protest was the Moroccan military court case against 23 human right activists from occupied Western Sahara that is to commence on the first of February.

”We are standing here because we want to show our solidarity with their struggle, and also because we want to show our protest with the Moroccan state and the way they are running court cases against political activists,” said Morten Nielsen, head of Secretariat at Africa Contact. Read more of this post

Civile menneskerettighedsforkæmpere skal for marokkansk militærdomstol, hvad gør Danmark?

The 23 Political prisoners of Gdeim IzikMenneskerettighedsorganisationen ASVDH, der opererer i det marokkansk-besatte Vestsahara, opfordrer i et nyhedsbrev til at blandt andet menneskerettighedsforkæmpere, NGO’er, jurister, og repræsentanter fra ambassaderne i Rabat deltager i militærdomstolen imod 23 Saharawier, Vestsaharas oprindelige befolkning, som har været tilbageholdt i over to år.

De 23 Saharawier har været tilbageholdt siden den fredelige protestlejr Gdeim Izik, beliggende uden for hovedstaden i det besatte Vestsahara El Aiun (Laayoune), blev brutalt opløst af marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker i oktober 2010. Read more of this post

Danish delegation stalked by Moroccan police during visit to occupied Western Sahara

”When we left our hotel, we discovered that we were being followed by a small army of Moroccan security officers. They obviously did not want the truth about the occupation of Western Sahara to be revealed,” says Danish MEP Søren Søndergaard.

He has just spent four days in both Morocco and the Moroccan-occupied territories in Western Sahara together with Danish MP Christian Juhl and two representatives from Danish NGO, Africa Contact. Here the group met with representatives from Moroccan opposition parties and Saharawi human rights groups. Read more of this post

Moroccan human rights violations on the rise

“Severe beatings, sexual violence, and other forms of ill-treatment [against migrants] appear to be on the rise,” United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez,  said Saturday after returning from an eight-day mission to Morocco.

The mission included a two-day visit to El Aaiun, in occupied Western Sahara, where Méndez said he was “overwhelmed” by hundreds of victims and civil society representatives who wished to report to him on Moroccan human rights violations. Read more of this post

Morocco criticised for Western Sahara human-rights violations in Amnesty report

“Security forces used excessive force against protesters. Critics of the monarchy and state institutions continued to face prosecution and imprisonment, as did Sahrawi advocates of self-determination for Western Sahara. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees persisted,” Amnesty International writes about Morocco and Western Sahara in their 2012 annual report on human rights throughout the world that was released today [24 May]. Read more of this post

Western Sahara ”not free”

Western Sahara has been rated “not free”, and has been given the lowest score of 7 in freedom, civil liberties and political rights in a report released yesterday [May 18] by Freedom House, an American human rights monitoring NGO. Western Sahara has been colonized by Morocco since 1975.

According to Freedom House’s 2012 Report, Morocco and Moroccan settlers profit from its colonization of Western Sahara while leaving the indigenous population, the Saharawis, impoverished. “Although the territory possesses extensive natural resources, including phosphate, iron ore deposits, hydrocarbon reserves, and fisheries, the local population remains largely impoverished.” Read more of this post

Marokko diskriminerer Vestsaharas oprindelige befolkning

”Marokko påstår at de udvikler Vestsahara socialt og økonomisk. En sådan påstået udvikling gavner ikke og er ikke gjort med samtykke af [Vestsaharas oprindelige befolkning] Saharawierne”. Sådan siger den internationale organisation, Western Sahara Ressource Watch (WSRW) og menneskerettighedsorganisationen Sahara Thawra i en ny rapport, der skal være med til at danne grundlag for FN’s snarligt forestående Universal Periodic Review (der undersøger hvorvidt menneskerettighederne overholdes i alle FN’s medlemslande) af Marokko. Read more of this post

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