Amnesty International denounces Moroccan abuses of human rights in Western Sahara


May 14, 2011

London (MAPI) - Amnesty International (AI) has denounced, in its 2011 report on the state of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, the repression practiced by the Moroccan forces in Western Sahara.
“The Freedom of expression, association and assembly has been restricted, especially on issues relating to political sensitivity, such as the question of Western Sahara,” the report asserted.
It noted that the Sahrawi human rights activists were harassed and persecuted for political reasons during 2011, adding “dozens of people suspected of security offenses were detained and some, held in communicate, reportedly been tortured or abused.”
“The arrests and collective expulsions of foreigners continued. Death sentences were imposed and no executions have taken place. No action has been taken to bring to justice the perpetrators of gross human rights violations committed in the past," the report said.
AI underlined the negotiations on the status of Western Sahara between the Polisario Front and Morocco “were still deadlocked”, adding the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) on last April, without including “a mechanism to monitor the human rights situation
The report pointed that the Moroccan security forces dismantled on November 8, 2010 by using force a protest camp for the Saharawis in Gdeim Izik, near occupied city of El Aaiun, which settled to protest against marginalization policy as well as demand jobs and housing, confirming killings and injuries among the Saharawis.
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