Demonstration of Sahrawi nationals in Paris to denounce occupation, claim self-determination

Paris, April 16, 2016 (SPS) - Many Sahrawi nationals held Saturday in Paris a sit-in in Trocadero (Paris) near Morocco’s embassy in France to denounce “oppression” exerted by Moroccan authorities on the Sahrawi people since 40 years.

Raising the flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), demonstrators chanted “No alternative to self-determination,” while denouncing the “oppression” exerted by Moroccan authorities against the Sahrawi people “in complicity” with France. 

Sahrawi demonstrators called the international community, mainly the UN Security Council members including France, “to fully assume their responsibility regarding the Sahrawi conflict that must culminate in the self-determination of the Sahrawi people.”

A communiqué distributed to the public, including tourists, stated that Morocco “strongly occupies a part of Western Sahara since 1976,” a year during which tens of thousands of Sahrawi civilians fled from their territories,” adding that “some of them died and others took refuge in Algeria and they are still living there.”

The organizers of this sit-in stressed that the Sahrawi nationals, who stayed in the occupied territories, “can only protest peacefully to express their willingness to be free and achieve self-determination.”

They also denounced “the repression of civilians and the despoilment of Western Sahara’s natural ressources by Morocco,” calling for the release of “all Sahrawi political prisoners mainly those of Gdeim Izik group.”

These same Sahrawi individuals "are regularly beaten, kidnapped, imprisoned without trial, and when a military trial is held against them, they are condemned without proof to heavy sentences (20 years to life imprisonment) like the 22 Sahrawi prisoners of Gdeim Izik," they stressed. (SPS)