NEW YORK (UN) 13 May 2021 (SPS) - In a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, the Frente POLISARIO held the United Nations responsible for the brutal violence and state terrorism pursued by the Moroccan occupying authorities against Sahrawi civilians.
“We energetically condemn the new wave of brutal violence and terror carried out by the Moroccan occupying state against our people in the occupied Western Sahara, and we hold the United Nations fully responsible for their protection and safety. The United Nations cannot stand by and watch as the Moroccan occupying state intensifies its terrorising and atrocious assaults on Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists in full view of the UN Mission in the Territory,” says the letter addressed yesterday to UN Secretary-General from Frente POLISARIO Representative at the United Nations, Dr Sidi M. Omar.
The letter described a series of grave abuses and violent attacks by the Moroccan occupying authorities against human rights activists and Sahrawi citizens over the past few days and weeks, calling on the United Nations to provide protection to Sahrawi civilians as part of its responsibility for the decolonisation of Western Sahara.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
H.E. Mr António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations, New York
New York, 12 May 2021
Upon instructions from my Authorities, I am writing to you with great urgency and concern to draw your attention and the attention of the members of the Security Council to the alarmingly deteriorating situation of human rights in the territories of Western Sahara under the Moroccan illegal occupation.
As we have alerted in previous communications, ever since it carried out a new aggression on the Sahrawi Liberated Territory on 13 November 2020, the Moroccan occupying state has been waging another retaliatory war on Sahrawi civilians who are continually subjected to unspeakable cruelty and inhuman, and degrading practices.
We energetically condemn the new wave of brutal violence and terror carried out by the Moroccan occupying state against our people in the occupied Western Sahara, and we hold the United Nations fully responsible for their protection and safety. The United Nations cannot stand by and watch as the Moroccan occupying state intensifies its terrorising and atrocious assaults on Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists in full view of the UN Mission in the Territory.
In his letter addressed to you on 16 February 2021 and circulated as a document of the Security Council (S/2021/162), Mr Brahim Ghali, President of the Sahrawi Republic (SADR) and Secretary-General of the Frente POLISARIO, drew your attention to the catastrophic situation in the occupied Western Sahara. This situation has alarmingly deteriorated over the past few months.
In the occupied city of Bojador, agents of Moroccan security services have repeatedly stormed the house of the family of Sid Brahim Jaya, which has been put under tight police siege since 19 November 2020. As documented by pictures and videos shared on a large scale, Sahrawi human rights activist, Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya, and her family have been engaged in a series of nonviolent actions to protest the Moroccan illegal occupation, including raising the national flag of the Sahrawi Republic over their house.
On 10 May, in a cowardly act of terror, dozens of masked Moroccan security agents and state-sponsored thugs violently broke into the house of the family of Sid Brahim Jaya and brutalised Sultana and her family. The agents ransacked the house and detained three human rights activists who were taken to a remote location and tortured. They are Khaled Al-Hussein Lahcen Boufriwa, Salek Mohamed Salek Babir and Babuzid Mohamed Said.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Front-Line Defenders, among others, have been sounding the alarm about the situation of Sultana Sid Brahim Jaya and her family as they continue to endure the most horrific forms of physical and psychological violence at the hands of Moroccan security agents. Early today, in a new episode of their continuing terror, Moroccan security agents stormed the family house and physically harassed Sultana, and her sister, Al Waara Sid Brahim Jaya, and subjected them to disgraceful and degrading treatment.
Many Sahrawi human rights activists across the Sahrawi Occupied Territories are taking part in the campaign “my flag over my home” where they raise the flag of the Sahrawi Republic over their homes as a symbol of nonviolent protest against the Moroccan illegal occupation of parts of Western Sahara. Because of their human rights advocacy and nonviolent activism in support for the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence, many Sahrawis have suffered violent reprisals and have had their homes raided and vandalised by Moroccan security forces.
The situation of Sahrawi political detainees, including Gdeim Izik Group, continues to be alarming because of the deplorable conditions in which they are being held in the prisons of the Moroccan occupying state and the degrading and retaliatory practices to which they are subjected by the Moroccan penitentiary administration. We urge you once again to act urgently to end the suffering of all Sahrawi political prisoners and their families and to ensure their immediate and unconditional release so that they could join their homeland and reunite with their families.
At a time when you continue pursuing efforts to appoint a new Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, the Moroccan occupying state is intensifying its repression in the Sahrawi Occupied Territories and undermining any prospect of relaunching the peace process. In this regard, the Frente POLISARIO reaffirms that no peace process will be possible as long as the Moroccan occupying state persists, with full impunity, in its terrorising and retaliatory war against Sahrawi civilians and human rights activists, in addition to its attempts to forcibly impose a fait accompli in the Territory.
The Frente POLISARIO reiterates its urgent call upon you and the Security Council to assume your responsibilities in protecting the Sahrawi civilians and ensuring their physical and moral safety as an essential component of the United Nations responsibility towards the Sahrawi people and towards the decolonisation of the last colony in Africa.
I would be grateful if you would bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Dr Sidi M. Omar
Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations." (SPS)