Minatu Haidar calls for the protection of human rights in Western Sahara and regrets Morocco’s presidency of the HRC

مينتو حيدار مع رئيسة فريق المقرر الخاص بحرية التجمع
Wed, 03/06/2024 - 12:11

Geneva (Human Rights Council) March 06, 2024 (SPS) - Sahrawi human rights defender, Ms. Minatu Haidar, in her intervention on Monday, before the United Nations Human Rights Council at its 55th session, called for immediate international intervention to protect human rights in the occupied Western Sahara, expressing at the same time her regret over the election of the Moroccan occupying state as President of the Council.

Minatu Haidar, winner of the Right Livelihood Award, pointed to the daily abuses suffered by the Sahrawi people at the hands of the occupying Moroccan authorities, stressing that everyone who defends the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence is subject to arbitrary arrest, torture, and an unfair trial.

In this context, Minatu haidar explained that the gross Moroccan human rights violations also include depriving the Sahrawi people of all their economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to the illegal exploitation of their natural resources by Morocco and even by its Western and international partners.

The Sahrawi human rights defender expressed her dissatisfaction with the election of Morocco to the presidency of the Human Rights Council, considering this a serious contradiction to the principles of justice that the Council represents. She also expressed her deep concern about the safety of Sahrawi activists and their families, especially those who appear before the Human Rights Council to participate in its sessions and give testimony against Moroccan violations.

Minatu Haidar concluded her intervention by issuing an urgent appeal to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize an investigation mission to the occupied Western Sahara, and calling on the Council to remain loyal to its principles by discussing and monitoring the dire human rights situation in Western Sahara.

Finally, the Sahrawi human rights defender stressed the importance of not forgetting Western Sahara and the need for the United Nations to assume its responsibilities in the process of decolonizing this occupied country.