Révolte des Sahraouis - Revolt of the Saharawis - Revuelta de los Saharauis

A letter to the European Parliament Members on The alarming situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara

The occupied parts of Western Sahara have witnessed, during the last two weeks, a popular Intifada that started in El Aaiun on May 21st, 2005. The Saharawi population peacefully demonstrated to claim for the respect of human rights and for their right to self-determination and independence.

The peaceful demonstrations, which started first in front of the Black Jail and in Maatallah neighborhood, soon spread to all other El Aaiun‚s neighborhoods, Saharawi cities, and Moroccan southern cities where important Saharawi communities live. All demonstrators were savagely oppressed by the different Moroccan authorities‚ forces.

The brutality of the repression resulted in more than one hundred Saharawis, who participated to the peaceful uprising, injured, dozens arrested and other dozens disappeared.

The atrocities perpetrated by the various Moroccan forces included heavily attacking peaceful sit-ins. Children, women (including pregnant women), handicapped people and elders from both sexes were savagely beaten. Many cases, it should be underlined here, were seriously wounded and still are.

Further, Moroccan occupying forces attacked Saharawi houses, confiscated people‚s goods, assaulted Saharawi civilians on streets, gardens and other public places, especially at night.

On another hand, and because of the complete military and Medias siege, Moroccan authorities imposes on the non-self-governing territory, the international press was unable to penetrate the Saharawi cities, to film the crimes committed by the Moroccan regime in Western Sahara, and the amount of repression the different cities lived for the last weeks.

In this respect, Al Jazeera T.V team, and many Spanish journalists, mainly Mrs. Christina Berasain, from "Berriia" (Basque newspaper) were denied entry to the occupied Capital of Western Sahara, El Aaiun. Most recently, a Spanish delegation was also turned away to Canary Island, despite the fact that they had previously coordinated the visit with Spanish and Moroccan Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Western Sahara issue, should it be recalled again, is a question of decolonisation. This is what the International Court of Justice has ruled in the early 70ies denying Morocco any kind of sovereignty over the territory. This is what the UN and the international community agreed upon since the early 60ies, when they included Western Sahara‚s case in the agenda of the UN‚s Fourth Committee, and this is, finally, what all UN‚s resolutions underline.

Thus, we have here a clear case of uncompleted decolonisation that should be completed within the strict respect of the UN‚s Charter, through the holding of a referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people, and Saharawi people alone.

Moroccan kingdom military fait accompli in the territory, and Moroccan intransigence and rejection of all peaceful and reasonable solution to the conflict, should be faced, by the power of justice, of law and of wisdom. It is a duty of all peoples around the world. It is a challenge to the international community and to the credibility of its highest international bodies, especially the UN.

Speaking about European peoples, NGOs and human rights defenders are now urgently called to intervene in order to protect the people of Western Sahara from the barbarous repression perpetrated by Moroccan authorities against Saharawi demonstrators, noting that this call is voiced loud and open to draw the attention to a situation that may easily surpass a similar situation East Timor lived in the late 90ies for similar reasons.

For all this reasons and circumstances, I call on the European Parliament, European Commission and all European Member States as well as the UN to exert all necessary pressures on the Moroccan State to abide by the UN resolutions on Western Sahara and to enable the Saharawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

I also call on all international bodies and all competent organisations to immediately intervene to put an end to the Moroccan practices and repression against the Saharawi people, who only defend, with peaceful and legal ways, their rights to freedom, expression, and self-determination conforming to the international legality.

Finally, accept the expression of my deepest sentiments

Ali Salem Tamek,

Saharawi ex-political prisoner, human rights activist, Trade Unionist,

Barcelona, June 08th, 2005

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