Human rights crisis in the occupied Western Sahara is at the heart of a symposium in the European Parliament

BRUSSELS (Belgium), 07 February 2023 (SPS) - The Western Sahara Group in the European Parliament organized today, a symposium on the human rights crisis in Western Sahara, in the presence of an official Sahrawi delegation from the representation of the Polisario Front in Europe and the European Union, and the Sahrawi activist Sultana Kheya as a guest of honor for the symposium held at the headquarter of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The symposium listened to a detailed presentation by activist Sultana Kheya, about her experience as a student in Marrakesh, Morocco, and also during the period of house arrest in the occupied Boujdour for more than a year and a half. It also touched on the dire situation of human rights in the occupied territories in light of the Moroccan escalation of grave violations against civilians, human rights activists, and media professionals, and the continued blackout and closure of the region in the face of organizations, observers, and the international press.

Sultana Kheya appealed, by the way, to the European Parliament to redouble efforts and shed more light on the situation in occupied Western Sahara, referring, in this regard, to her personal experience during her nomination for the annual Sakharov Prize, which was robbed of her in 2021 at the last moment due to the intervention of the Moroccan lobby, in the framework of what became known as "Maroc Gate" scandal, which affected negatively the EU decisions concerning Western Sahara.

For his part, the head of the EU parliamentary group, Mr Andreas Scheider, welcomed the participation of activist Sultana Kheya, noting that the symposium falls within the framework of the group's work program for the permanent presence of the Sahrawi issue at all levels.

Ambassador Oubbi Boushraya Al-Bashir, in his speech, focused on the importance of the symposium and the context in which it comes in light of a new dynamic titled by war and isolation that Morocco is exposed to within a regional and continental context, as well as the involvement of Rabat in the "Maroc Gate" scandal.

In the same context, the Sahrawi ambassador explained that these data, especially at the European level, open promising doors for the Sahrawi issue, which has remained absent for the past twenty years due to the bribery and corruption machine set up by the Kingdom of Morocco, noting also that with the development of investigations and the confirmation of Rabat's involvement in this scandal, There will be a radical change in favor of the Sahrawi national cause, especially in the issue of attention to human rights issues and the resumption of visits by parliamentarians to the Sahrawi territories, as well as the final decision expected by the European Court regarding the legal battle to protect the Sahrawi natural resources.

The symposium also witnessed interventions by European deputies from various political groups, which focused on the issue of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara and also the future of the conflict under the current circumstances, renewing messages of solidarity with the Saharawi people and emphasizing the start of a new phase towards the issue of Western Sahara at the level of the European Parliament.

It is noteworthy that the symposium held in the Belgian capital, Brussels, which was attended by Sahrawi diplomats, as well as those interested in the issue of Western Sahara, comes at a time when Morocco and its allies are facing a series of scandals related to bribery to influence the workflow of European bodies and their decisions towards a group of the issues, including the issue of occupied Western Sahara.

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