Aminatou Haidar to the UN HRC: escalation of Moroccan human rights violations in Western Sahara and UN remains silent

Geneva (UN Human Rights Council) 03 March 2021 (SPS)- Ms. Aminatou Haidar, President of the Saharawi Organ against Moroccan Occupation and 2019 Right Livelihood Laureate, denounced the excalation of Moroccan human rights violations against the people of Western Sahara, in a statement she delivered Monday before the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council through video-conference.

During the General Debate on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report, Ms. Haidar expressed grave concerns over the blatant violation of the ceasefire by the Moroccan authorities last November 2020 and the escalation of reprisals targeting Saharawi activists.

“On November 13, 2020, the Moroccan army broke the ceasefire agreements, entering the area of Guerguerat, to disperse Sahrawi demonstrators, who were exercising their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” she affirmed.

Subsequently, Aminatou added, “Morocco stepped up its repression against Sahrawi civilians, particularly human rights defenders, including myself and members of my organisation ISACOM. Sultana Khaya and her family are currently under police siege and daily repression.”

She urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, to organise a technical mission to Western Sahara with utmost urgency and for the UN to carry out their responsibility towards the decolonisation of Western Sahara.

“The situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara is deteriorating by the day and the international community continues to turn a deaf ear, allowing the occupier to continue to act in total impunity,” Aminatou deplored, warning that “young Saharawis have lost trust in the international community and in peaceful resistance, which I have always supported. It is of utmost urgency for the UN to act, to avoid an escalation of violence.”

“The UN and the Member States have committed to leave no one behind. The Saharawis must not be forgotten,” she concluded.

Last September, Aminatou Haidar and other members of her recently created organisation (Saharawi Organ against Moroccan Occupation), were subject to a police siege and daily repression by the Moroccan police forces, unable to leave their home without fear of persecution.

The situation further worsened on November 13, 2020. Since then, violence has been on the rise once more in the occupied territories, but the international community has so far remained silent. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)