WESTERN SAHARA\AUSTRALIA\VISIT Saharawi activist Aicha Dahane concludes visit to Australia Canberra (Australia) May 22, 2011 (SPS) - The Saharawi human rights activist, Aicha Dahane, concluded Sunday her three-week tour in Australia, where she visited

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El Aaiun (Occupied Territories), May19, 2011 (SPS) - Many cities in the occupied Western Sahara and southern Morocco have been the scene of peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins of Saharawi citizens demanding more respect for socio-economic rights and condemning policies of exclusion and marginalization of Morocco.

According to information received from the Sahrawi organization of human rights, CODESA, cited by afrol News, Fos Boucraa workers, along with many other Saharawi groups demanded the right of association and larger social - economic rights, and that the Moroccan state disclose the fate of the disappeared Saharawis and release all political prisoners.

Saharawis have organized peaceful demonstrations three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) before the phosphate company administration, office of Energy and Mines and court of appeal in El Aaiun. Since April 20, unemployed Saharawi graduates (qualified university graduates) have started an indefinite sit-in in front of the office of Ministry of Labour in Mekka Street, El Aaiun.

Graduate Mohamad Sghaier has been on hunger strike for more than 21 days, protesting his dismissal December 3, 2010 from public employment. He was promised a job but was replaced by someone else, who supposedly with the same name, has close ties with an influential Moroccan official.

Many other groups of unemployed Saharawi graduates are demonstrating to demand work. They all denounced the exclusion of Saharawis by the Moroccan authorities. The Saharawis are being hardly hit by unemployment and poverty, while Morocco continues to exploit and steal the resources of Western Sahara and its waters.

In addition, the Sahrawi victims of gross violations of human rights committed by the Moroccan government have begun a sit-in that already lasted more than 19 days, in front of the so-called Regional Office of the Moroccan National Council of Human Rights. This group is demanding the right to social integration and condemns Morocco's refusal to offer them jobs. On the other hand, other groups of Saharawi victims of human rights violations and arbitrary arrests have organized protests in the same place every Monday and Thursday.

In turn, for two days, Inaach workers (social work program, through which people receive benefits from cleaning the streets without any formal employment contract) have been organizing peaceful protests before the Inaach office in El Aaiun. Inaach workers demanded their right to be officially employed and have health insurance and social security. They also demanded the Moroccan state to stop firing their colleagues without any social security.

Also Tantan, southern Morocco, has witnessed a heavy police presence for about three weeks. Security forces in the city have been ordered to prevent Sahrawis from entering the headquarters of the province, after a sit-in inside and outside the building by a group of unemployed Sahrawis echoed the same demands as the above groups.

Expressing the same requirements, dozens of Saharawis have been protesting and making peaceful sit-ins in Glaimim, southern Morocco, before the headquarters of the fifth province for more than two months, accompanied by numerous hunger strikes. In addition, there have been several demonstrations in the bus station in the city and in front of the provincial headquarters, with brutal attacks and harassment by the Moroccan authorities. These attacks have been documented by the Saharawi Committee for the defense of human rights in Glaimim in their statements and reports.

Finally, Assa, southern Morocco, there have been numerous peaceful marches and protests after the death of Saharawi student Habbo Hammadi in Rabat, to demand an impartial investigation of the case. In the same context, the Saharawi students in Rabat organized several peaceful demonstrations and hunger strikes in Souissi 1 university campus, to support the six Sahrawi students who have been arrested April 21, and sent to the prison of Salé, demanding the immediate release of their colleagues. (SPS)

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