WEEKS 21 - 22 : 20.05. - 02.06.2007
A delegation from the United Social Democrat Party of Guinea Bissau, a member of the ruling coalition, is on a visit to SADR. [Joint statement, SPS,French]
The Panafrican Parliament adopted at the closing of its 7th session, a resolution upholding the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence, “called on the African Union and Security Council to assume their responsibilities towards a speedy decolonization of Western Sahara”. [BuaNews (Tshwane, ZA), 20 May 2007]
The president of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, received a delegation from Cuba led by the deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marcos Rodriguez Cortas. [SPS]
19-21 mai 2007, Mijek
34th anniversary of the start of the Polisario Front’s armed struggle of liberation.
Speech of the Saharawi president: Mohamed Abdelaziz deplores the lack of encouraging signs from Morocco about the negotiations. [SPS, 20/05/2007-French]
Press conference: Morocco is afraid of the negotiations, the Saharawi president believes. [SPS, 21/05/2007, French]
Participation of Abdelaziz Menebhi, Moroccan former political prisoner, long-time opponent (member of IIal el-ammam, first president of the Moroccan National Union of Students), who stated that “the Moroccan autonomy proposal is nothing but an attempt to prolong the Saharawi question indefinitely”. [SPS, 20/05/2007, French]
A Moroccan in Mijek, blog WSahara Info, 24.05.07: http://w-sahara.blogspot.com/2007/05/moroccan-in-mijek.html
Annual conference of the Saharawi diaspora of the South (Mauritania and sub-Saharan Africa) : affirms its support for the “intifada of independence”. [SPS, 21/05/2007, French]
Commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the peaceful intifada in the occupied territories of Western Sahara celebrated in Mijek. [SPS, 21.05.07. French]
Photos of the celebrations in Mijek: http://www.rasd-state.ws/20mayofotos.asp
The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, attends investiture ceremonies for the new Nigerian President, Oumarou Mousa Yar'adoua, in Abuja. [SPS]
TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO
former political prisoner and human rights activist, Fatma Ayach is
carrying out a tour of South Africa. She met members of parliament from
the different South African parties, government ministers and officials.
From 16-24.05.07 in Pretoria a week of solidarity with the Saharawi people takes place, on the initiative of parties from the ruling coalition and important people in South African civil society.
24.05.07, Pretoria, demonstration outside the Moroccan embassy in South Africa. [Protesters call for a free Western Sahara, Sapa, 24.05.07]
25.05.07, seminar on the conflict in Western Sahara, organised by the South African Human Rights Commission. It results in the creation of the South African Forum for solidarity with SADR, which includes members of the government Alliance, representatives of the Union of South African NGOs, leading members of women’s and youth organisations linked with the ANC or with the South African Communist party, members of the South African Council of Churches, members of the South African Commission for Human Rights, and members of the Union of South African Students, lawyers, doctors and journalists. [SPS]
Human rights abuses – Repression of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities
and violence continue, accompanied by a campaign of
intimidation and arrests against Saharawi citizens and particularly
human rights defenders.
Témoignage d'une victime. [ASVDH 25.05.07]
Le CODESA proteste contre de multiples agressions contre des prisonniers politiques, communiqué, 25.05.07:
Testimony of Bneyna ment Maatallah Achtouki [ASVDH]
Repression, arrests and violation and spoliation of houses in El-Ayoune, [ASVDH] 25.05.07
Morocco police beat W.Sahara activists-campaigners, Reuters, 25.05.07: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L23343249.htm
Relato de un viaje a los territorios ocupados del Sahara Occidental, Keico Shingo: http://www.arso.org/opinions/KeicoShingo2007.htm
Attack on the home of Eddia Sidi Ahmed, whose son had just been arrested in Rabat, by an intervention group from the town of El Ayoun. [Corr.]
Gathering dispersed violently by police during the welcoming of a family coming from the refugee camps. The UNHCR opens an inquiry. [SPS]
Attack in Tiznit prison on Saharawi political detainees Tamek Mohamed, Kajjout, Najiâa and Mansouri Driss. They start a hunger strike demanding their separation from common law prisoners, an inquiry and an improvement in the conditions of imprisonment. The Prosecutor General orders an inquiry. [ASVDH]
Five Saharawi students, held in the local Inzegane prison on hunger strike to denouce the inhuman conditions of their detention and to claim the right to be regrouped and isolated from common law prisoners. [ASVDH]
Questioning and holding for several hours in police stations of several human rights defenders and activists from civil society: Douihi Hassanna, Brahim el Ansari, member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Asfari Naama, co-president of CORELSO, Sidahmed Lamjeyid, president of the Committee of Support for the United Nations Resolution and for the Protection of Natural Resources of Western Sahara. Attempts to arrest Daha Errahmouni, ASVDH executive member, Naseur Salmani, member of AMDH and the FVJ and Brahim Farah, member of AMDH and the union of phosphate workers. [ASVDH] [AP, 20.05.07].
[CODESA 25.05.07, French]
Two members of CODESA, Yahdih Tarrouzi and Amidane Elwali and Saharawi political detainees, Toubali Elhafed and Bahaha Mohamed Salem are attacked by common law prisoners in the Black Prison. [CODESA 25.05.07, French]
Four Saharawi political prisoners imprisoned in Inzegane launch an appeal to the big human rights associations and demand a commission of inquiry into the human rights abuses committed in regard to them.
The official spokesperson for foreign affairs for the Swedish Liberal Party, Birgitta Ohlsson, asks the Minister for Foreign Affairs to intervene to stop the repression against Saharawi students. The youth organisation of the same party made a similar request in a statement from its president, Johansson Metso. [Statement in Swedish]
20.05.07, Report on the repression of the Moroccan authorities to the Sahrawi students in the Moroccan universities by CODESA, Collective of Saharawi human rights defenders: http://www.arso.org/CODESAreportmay2007.htm
21.05.07, session of the European Parliament; MEP Willy Meyer accuses Morocco of “systematically abusing international law” and calls on European institutions not to turn their eyes away from the situation prevailing in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. [A European Parliamentarian accuses Morocco of "systematic violation of international law", UPES, 22/05/2007]
22.05.07, European Parliament : the European parliamentary intergroup, Peace for the Saharawi people condemns the repression of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities. [Declaracion]
Stop the attacks on the Sahrawi students! Open letter to the Moroccan government, signed by 43 Norwegian civil society organisations. 23.05.07: http://www.vest-sahara.no/index.php?parse_news=single&cat=1&art=488
23.05.07, European Union Council
Written question from MEPs, Napoletano, Carnero González, García-Pérez, Guardans, Meyer Pleite, Romeva and Scheele to the Council concerning the repression of Saharawi students.
Other associations, l'AARASD, l'AFASPA (France), Jaima saharawi (Italy), etc. also protest. CORELSO writes to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, B. Kouchner.
28.05.07, the Collective of Saharawi human rights defenders launches an appeal. [French]
The Saharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz, calls on the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to intervene urgently with the Moroccan authorities, to guarantee respect for human rights and the most basic freedoms of Saharawis in the occupied territories, in southern Morocco and in Moroccan universities. [SPS]
Trials of human rights defenders and Saharawi student protesters.
The co-president of CORELSO, Ennaâma Asfari’s suspended sentence of two months’ prison and a fine of 500 dirhams is maintained on appeal. [SPS]
Brahim Sabbar, secretary general of ASVDH and Ahmed Sbai, member of the coordinating council, sentenced on 6 March 2007 in the Court of First Instance to one year’s prison, saw their punishment lengthened by six months. The three year prison sentences of Elhafed Toubali, Mohamed Lehbib Elgasmi and Mohamed Salem Ahmeidat were confirmed on appeal. [Morocco lengthens prison terms for Western Sahara activists, colleague says, The Associated Press, Tuesday, May 22, 2007.]
Sultana Khaya is sentenced to 8 months’ prison, the six fellow students accused with her to 12 months’ prison. Two Spanish observers attend the trial. The families of students and their friends having been banished from the court room, the lawyers retired. [Compte-rendu, French]
On appeal sentences of Elwali Amidane, Yahdih Ettarouzi and Bachri Taleb are maintained. The former Saharawi political detainee, Lamine Bada is sentenced to 18 months in prison. [ASVDH]
Five Saharawi students are sentenced to two months’ prison and a fine of 500 dirham for attacking, wounding and inciting to violence. [ ASVDH]
phosphate – campaign against FMC-Foret - documentation:
FMC FORET EXPOLIA LOS FOSFATOS DEL SAHARA - INFORME: con fotogalerias y anexos. [Sahara Libre.es]
NGOs supporting Western Sahara accuse the firm FMC Foret of plundering 500.000 tonnes of phosphates yearly, EUROPA PRESS, 17.05.07 (translation)
Algeria and Cuba expressed their “firm support” for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to implement Security Council resolution 1754 on Western Sahara. [SPS]
The Coordination of Associations in solidarity with the Saharawi people (CEAS-Sahara) called on Spanish citizens to take account of the question of Western Sahara during municipal and regional elections due on 27 May.
The Norwegian Committee of support for the Saharawi people has the ambition to create an international solidarity movement with the Saharawi people like the anti-apartheid movement, Ronny Hansen, president of this committee, indicated to APS.
According to the French foreign ministry spokesman, the visit of Mr Van Walsum to Paris comes within the framework of the implementation of resolution 1754. The French position on Western Sahara has not varied, he added. [Echorouk online engl. ed.]
The UN fixed 18 June as the start of the negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front. According to the Madrid daily, ABC, they will take place near New York. [ABC] Confirmed by the arabophone newspapers "El Charq El Aoussat" et "El Qods El Arabi", place is Manhasset 27 km far from New-York , four negociators by each of the parties.
31.05 07, diplomacy
On the occasion of the visit of the French President, Sarkozy, and the head of the US State Deparment Rice in Madrid, the Coordination of associations in solidarity with the Saharawi people in Madrid sent them letters. It also set going a letter and fax campaign to the United Nations Secretary General, visiting Madrid on 5 and 6 June. As well, a demonstration is planned for 6 June outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid.
In France, CORELSO sends letters to political parties presenting candidates at the legislative elections.
Visit of Moroccan Foreign Minister Benaissa with Fassi-Fihri to France is anounced for June 4. [déclaration]
military and police forces
According to El Pais, the Moroccan army consists of 180,000 men, of which 120,000 are deployed on the defensive wall. Police numbers exceed 40,000 men, to which must be added 30,000 members of auxiliary forces and 22,000 gendarmes.
censorship: Maroc Telecom blocked access to Youtube site for
five days. [Reporters
without Borders, 28.05.07].
Morocco offers the USA to accommodate the future centre of
command of the American army in Africa. AFRICOM.
[ Middle East Newsline]
Spanish daily, El
Pais reveals that Spain sold for
600,000 euros riot control gear to the Moroccan police.
Le président de l’Alliance d’Europe Centrale et Orientale de Solidarité avec le Peuple saharaoui, Matyas Benyik, adresse une lettre au président français Sarkozy.
The Swedish human rights organization SILC (Swedish International Liberal Centre) has released a statement saying: "Freedom for Western Sahara!": http://www.silc.se/article.rhtml?id=286
Le centre culturel sahraoui Mohamed Fadel Ismail à Alger héberge une exposition de la photographe Malika Taghlit consacrée aux enfants sahraouis. [El Watan, 30.05.07] [Gallerie d'images ] [Amb RASD Argel]
de apoyo al pueblo saharaui, con motivo de la llegada a Madrid del
Secretario general de la ONU, Miércoles, 6 de Junio, de 16.30 a
18.00 h. Frente al Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Plaza de la
Concierto de la cantante saharaui Mariem Hassan, el dia 8 de junio, a las 23horas, en La Capsa. Ens pots trobar a l'Avinguda Pare Andreu de Palma, número 5-7. Org: ACAPS-PRAT : http://sahararesiste.blogspot.com/2007/06/8-de-junio-de-2007-acto-solidaro-en-el.html
Juny 2007. Jornades de cooperació a Premià de Mar : http://sahararesiste.blogspot.com/2007/06/juny-2007-jornades-de-cooperaci-premi.html
I Encuentros de Arte en Territorios Liberados del Sahara Occidental, TIFARITI (SAHARA LIBERADO), 10 al 27 de Octubre 2007
E-mail: email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org, http://artifariti.blogspot.com/ - http://www.artifariti.org
Nouveaux sites - New Sites
Best of blogs:
Debate en Libertad Digital :
Sáhara, treinta años después (1ª Parte): http://www.libertaddigital.tv/ldtv.php/programas/ver-debatesenlibertad/sahara_treinta_anos_despues/
Sáhara, treinta años después (2ª Parte): http://www.libertaddigital.tv/ldtv.php/programas/ver-debatesenlibertad/sahara_treinta_anos_despues_2_parte/
Rainbow Rovers: Sahara Convoy 2007 - Be Part Of It! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54anMJkGuKE
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]
>> Revue de la presse internationale francophone http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/revue-de-presse-sahara-occidental/messages
>> English publications on Sahara Update mailinglist: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahara-update/messages
>> Revista de la prensa en español http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/revista-de-prensa-sahara-occidental/messages
Sáhara en el corazón, Sas Nah Larosi, 64 p., Gráficas Almeida, Madrid, español-árabe. http://www.graficasalmeida.com/