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Western Sahara: global mobilization for human rights of Saharawi people

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WASHINGTON, December 26, 2013 (SPS)  - The continuing violation of human rights of the Saharawi people by Morocco sparked in 2013, an unprecedented global mobilization marking more pressure on the Moroccan government which is facing harsh criticism from the international community.


Grasping the magnitude of these violations, several countries including the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations and international Human Rights NGOs severely criticized the Moroccan authorities for serious abuses against Saharawis


The extent of violations denounced by multiple reports


Twice this year, the U.S. State Department denounced, in a new report, human rights violation of Sahrawis by Moroccan occupation, citing acts of physical violence including torture against prisoners, the use of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, impunity for Moroccan forces and speedy trials against activists fighting for the independence of the Saharawi territories forces.


Another report by the UN on the basis of a field survey unveiled the extent of abuse.


After his visit to Western Sahara, the special UN rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez announced the credibility of information on torture, sexual assault, threats of rape against victims or their family members, and other forms of ill-treatment of Sahrawis.


The violations also confirmed by the report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon led him to ask the Security Council for an "independent, impartial, thorough and constant'' monitoring of the human rights situation of rights in Western Sahara, which becomes more than ever a "vital necessity".


Main international NGOs including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and RFKennedy Center denounced exactions of Morocco while advocating for the introduction of a mechanism for monitoring human rights under the United Nations Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). (SPS)