France-Libertés, 22 rue de
Milan 75009 Paris
téléphone : 01 53 25 10 40 - fax : 01 48 74 01 26
email : email@example.com http://www.france-libertes.fr
Date : lundi 19 août 2003
France Libertés heard about the coming release, by the Polisario Front and Algeria, of 243 Moroccan POWs who have been held in Tindouf, south-western Algeria, in some cases for over 20 years.
We are happy for these men and their families.
But, in April this year France Libertés made a mission of inquiry on the conditions of detention of the Moroccan POWs both civilian and military, and it is essential to keep in mind that 12 years after the 1991 cease-fire, 914 of these men are still detained. It is also essential to keep in mind that, according to all humanitarian rules accepted by the International Community, the 1991 cease-fire should have been the time of the liberation of each and every single one of these Moroccan POWs.
Therefore, this partial liberation is as contrary as the previous ones were, to the principles of International Humanitarian Law which both the Polisario Front and Algeria claim to uphold.
On this occasion, France Libertés wishes to remind everybody that the Moroccan POWs both civilian and military held by the Polisario Front and Algeria, are detained in conditions that violate the most basic rules of Human Rights, and that they are subjected to forced labour. This forced labour is inflicted on them despite a deeply deteriorated state of moral and physical health resulting from the inhuman and degrading treatment they received from the moment they were captured by the Polisario Front and Algeria.
France Libertés wishes to attract the attention of the international community again on the violations of International Humanitarian Law perpetrated by both the Polisario Front and Algeria when they refuse to release all the Moroccan POWs, and only save appearances by doing partial liberations.
Therefore France Libertés calls yet again on the Polisario Front and Algeria to release without delay all these sick, elderly, distressed, and suffering men, and to consider the respect for human dignity as a universal value to which every single person aspires.
France Libertés calls on the Moroccan authorities to release the names of the POWs concerned by this latest liberation to their families so as to relieve them from their anxiety, instead of keeping them uninformed for weeks on end and no reason.
: Pauline DUBUISSON / Afifa KARMOUS / Azamat KADYRALIEV : 01 53 25 10