UN experts express concern over journalists and activists situation in the occupied areas of Western Sahara

Geneva (Switzerland), August 19, 2021 (SPS) - Several United Nations experts have expressed concern over the situation of Sahrawi journalists and activists in the occupied areas of Western Sahara In a statement made public yesterday,.

They requestet the Moroccan occupation authorities to “determine the legal justification for the ongoing presence of police and security personnel, with their vehicles, in front of the house of the Sahrawi activist Sultana Jaya since November 2020, preventing her and her family from leaving the house and subjecting them continuously to threats, as they do with all activists in the occupied areas. "

The experts also invited the Moroccan government to “present information on the investigation opened on September 29, 2020 in relation to the foundation of ISACOM, as well as the reasons that led the authorities to open said investigation by a Moroccan court in the occupied city of El Aaiún ”.

“In light of the growing allegations of attacks against Sahrawi human rights activists, we demand that Morocco ensure that human rights defenders can work in an enabling environment, where they are allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of harassment. , stigmatization or assault on their physical integrity, or criminalization of any kind ”, the experts highlighted in their statement.

On the other hand, the statement expresses "its grave concern over the allegations of physical aggression, rape, harassment, threats and raids suffered by various Sahrawi journalists and human rights activists in Western Sahara, including ISACOM members."

In this sense, the experts have denounced “the lack of response of the Moroccan authorities to their memorandum sent on June 10, 2021 in relation to the violations committed against the following human rights activists: Sultana Jaya, Alwaara Jaya, Galia Djimi, Meina Baali, Hassanna Abba, Babuzeid Mohamed Saíd Labeihi, Salek Baber, Khaled Bufrewa, Lehsan Dalil, Larusi Lefguir, Mbeirik Abdelkarim, Ahmad Hammad and the Moroccan journalist Abdelatif Munjib ”.

Finally, the experts reiterated “their deep concern over the information reported on acts of harassment, physical and sexual assault, acts of intimidation and death threats against the aforementioned human rights defenders, as well as expressing their deep concern over the continuous Moroccan practices who contradict the responsibility of the State of Morocco to guarantee the right to freedom of expression, as stipulated in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ”. SPS