Spain: "Que el Sahara no sea un
nuevo Timor" campaign
The campaign took place in Castilla, Balearic and Canary Islands. A
hunger strike was organized in Pamplona, Navarra, by the Movimiento
Solidario de Apoyo a Sahara, an NGO umbrella organization. From
December 7 to 9, a hunger strike will be held in Rioja, organized by
the Plataforma Cívica Pro-Referendum en el Sáhara
Occidental - La Rioja. The campaign will end in Madrid: a
commemoration on December 10 in memory of the victims of the
repression, in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a three-day
hunger strike and a closing demonstration on December 12.
El Ayoun: Appeals
El Loud Mohamed ould Allal was sentenced in appeal on 26.11.99 by the
El Lehbib to two months suspended sentence (press release from the
Sahrawi Minister of the
Others had their sentences reduced: 13 people who were sentenced in
November to one and a half years in prison received sentences of
between 2 months suspended sentence to 6 months, one was acquitted.
Twenty-three others who received sentences ranging from 12 to 18
months on November 15 (see week 46) also received reduced sentences.
In El Ayoun, Moroccan government parties organized a demonstration on
28.11.99 in support of the victims of the September-October
repression. Speakers called for fair trials for all those arrested. A
royal pardon was requested on behalf of the families of the detainees
Abdesslam Chaouch, a delegate from the AMDH (Moroccan Human Rights
Association), announced that a group of lawyers has made an appeal to
the Supreme Court against the verdict handed down in El Ayoun against
three youths who "had nothing to do with the acts they are being
accused of and who, during their detention, have been abused."
"Security forces have forbidden a group of Sahrawi defectors staying
at the Bou Regreg hotel in Rabat from having any outside contact.
According to one of the members of this group, which has been
demonstrating in Rabat since June 26, they have been told that the
Southern provinces (the Western Sahara) must be regained before their
situation can be resolved. (Al-Mounaataf, quotidien marocain)
Protest demonstrations in the occupied territories of the Sahrawi
Republic have been ongoing since September 22. According to a press
release issued by the Sahrawi Minister of the Occupied Territories,
1000 people protested on November 27 in Tan-Tan and Assa.
Demonstrations are planned for Friday, December 3 in Rabat and El
Ayoun. According to an SPS press release, the Sahrawi Ministry of the
Occupied Territories stated "the right to freedom of expression will
square off against dahir No. 15," in effect in Morocco since 1958.
This law gives the authorities the right to put down any
demonstration, as the Moroccan government itself recently
reconfirmed: "Assemblies that are not authorized by public
authorities constitute a tacit threat to public order, while
assemblies in public spaces that are authorized by the public
authorities are a right."
Truth and justice
A "Truth and justice" association, bringing together victims of the
repression and their families, left-wing political parties, and NGOs,
was created in Casablanca to help shed lights on human rights
violations in Morocco since independence.
Expiry of the Morocco-EU fishing agreement
Over 400 fishing boats, most of them Spanish, left Moroccan
territorial waters with the expiry of the fishing accord between
Morocco and the European Union. Rabat refused to extend the accord,
officially to protect its fishing resources. Foreign presence in
Moroccan and Sahrawi territorial waters dates back to 1988, and was
renegotiated in 1992 and 1995. These accords violate international
law because the EU does not make a distinction between Moroccan and
Sahrawi territorial waters.
Two young Sahrawis died in Moroccan military centres. Mohamed M'Barek
ould Mahjoub ould Ergueibi died "under mysterious circumstances" on
November 28 in the Bensergaou military training camp, close to
Agadir. A week earlier Laroussi ould Matamoulana died in an auxiliary
forces training centre in Auluz. Both of them belong to the "first
group of 400 individuals" forcibly recruited by the Moroccan army.
Sahrawi authorities say Moroccan authorities are responsible for
these deaths as part of a policy to physically liquidate the Sahrawi
Morocco: human rights
The independent board of arbitration set up in August 1998, which was
to resolve the issue of human rights in Morocco "within six months,"
received 1370 requests for compensation. The board will review the
cases and carry out investigations in order to determine damages and
compensate the victims. The board has promised to give additional
compensation to emergency humanitarian cases. (CCDH, consultative commission on human rights,
The free trade accord signed between Morocco and the European Free
Trade Association (EFTA = Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and
Liechtenstein) came into effect on December 1.
Peter Hain, MP, British Minister of State in charge of North Africa
and the Middle East at the Foreign Office visited Morocco as a part
of a North African tour. In Rabat, he held detailed discussions on
the Western Sahara with Prime Minister Abderrahmane El
In an interview published in the Moroccan daily La Nouvelle Tribune,
Abraham Serfaty reiterated his vision of an autonomous Western Sahara
and the need for Moroccan-Sahrawi negotiations, adding "I am
convinced that we are at the dawn of a new era for Morocco and the
Sahara." He called on Polisario "to not fall behind."
Taking advantage of an extended holiday, hundreds of Spaniards
visited the refugee camps. They took charter flights from Castilla-La
Mancha, the Balearic Islands, Murcia, Madrid and Aragon. Joan Mayo,
minister councillor of the government of the Balearic Islands, led
the official delegation from his province.
A delegation from the US embassy in Rabat recently visited El Ayoun
in order to shed light on the unrest that has shaken the city. The
delegation met with witnesses and participants of the events. (Maroc
15.12.99, Geneva: Buffet evening in
honour of the new Polisario representative to Switzerland, Senia
Ahmed, at 7:00 p.m. at the Centre social protestant.
Easter 2000, Switzerland: Charter
"Sahrawi Solidarity," Geneva-Tindouf, April 19-24, 2000. Registration
up to January 2000 : email@example.com
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