Washington denounces restrictions on liberties in occupied Sahrawi territories

Washington, March 4, 2017 (SPS) - The Moroccan authorities continued in 2016 imposing restrictions on the civil and political rights of the Sahrawis in the occupied territories, according to the US Department of State in its annual report on human rights practices in the world.

“The most significant human rights problems in the territory of Western Sahara were Moroccan government restrictions on the civil liberties and on the political rights of pro-independence advocates,” US Department of State said in its report.

The document reports the increase in the inhuman treatment of the Sahrawi prisoners. Based on the observations of several sources, the Department of State affirmed that the mistreatment of the Sahrawi prisoners continued in 2016.

“Pre-trial detention conditions were especially a concern due to overcrowding and detention periods were often prolonged,” said the source, underlining that the judicial power “weakened by corruption and extrajudicial influence” is not independent and refused the right for a fair public trial to the accused.

The restrictions imposed on international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights associations continued in 2016, said the report, underlining the ongoing violations committed by the Moroccan security forces encouraged by the widespread impunity.

NGOs continued to receive reports about the mistreatment of the Sahrawi prisoners, said the source, adding that the United Nations Human Rights Committee remains concerned about the continued use of torture.(SPS)