Between 3pm and 6pm BST today, in Geneva, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations will be discussing Morocco‚s record on human rights. Part of this review will highlight human rights abuses in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. In the light of today‚s review, the Western Sahara Campaign (WSC UK) calls for the release of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on Human Rights in the occupied Western Sahara. . The report on the state of human rights in the region, which was compiled in 2006, has never been formally released.

In addition to the OHCHR report, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, two of the most respected human rights organisations, consistently report that political repression and human rights abuses are commonplace in the territory of Western Sahara.

They report that the Saharawi population in Western Sahara suffers from infringements of their human rights. Their freedom of speech is limited, their freedom of assembly minimal and civilians participating in peaceful protests face incarceration, police abuse and even torture on a regular basis.

WSC UK is extremely concerned at this deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and fears that, if not addressed, it may have severe implications for peace and stability in the Maghreb.

Moroccan oppression has reached a critical level with beatings, torture, false imprisonment, rape, disappearances and unfair trials all being reported regularly by Saharawi citizens. A hunger strike by 60 Saharawi political prisoners over conditions is currently in its second month.

WSC UK calls on the UK Government, as a permanent member of the Security Council, to request the formal publication of the report and the immediate implementation of its recommendations.

For further information contact:
WSC UK  01974 282575

>> Briefing  Human Rights in Western Sahara (WSC)

Links to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and reports referring to this matter:,11.html