WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 26

23.-29.06.2002

SADR
OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
MOROCCO
SOLIDARITY
FORTHCOMING
INTERNET
NEW PUBLICATIONS

SADR

25.06.02
SADR &endash; Belgium
The Saharawi President drew the attention of the Belgium prime minister to the "seriousness of the situation resulting from the illegal occupation of Western Sahara" in a letter. This letter reached Guy Verhofstadt during the Moroccan prime minister's visit to Belgium. The President of the SADR felt that the EU "must speak out more clearly in defense of the Saharawi people's legitimate right to self-determination". The Saharawi President noted "a hardening of Morocco's colonial policy in Western Sahara", demanded "the freezing of contracts for the exploration and exploitation" of Western Sahara's natural resources for as long as the decolonisation process "has not been duly completed by the UN", and finally underlined that EU members "cease arms sales that will aid Morocco's occupation policy". Belgium and the Fifteen "must demand that the Moroccan government respects international law and human rights, and that it ceases arbitrary detention, torture and unfair trials". (SPS)

26.06.02
Prisoners of War
According to a report from Europa Press, the ICRC estimated that the release of 100 Moroccan prisoners would not be possible before mid-July. The delay is due, according to the ICRC's Sahara officer Jane Sorensen, to the need to select the prisoners to be released, who will be chosen according to the length of their imprisonment and their state of health. Once the selection has been made, the ICRC will meet with them to ensure that they genuinely want to return to Morocco. (EP)

26.06.02
National Secretariat
The POLISARIO Front's National Secretariat, meeting in ordinary session, appealed to the UN Security Council to "name a definite date for the holding of the referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people", and to put an end to the politics of "repetitive reports", that "prolongs the suffering of the Saharawi people and perpetuates tension in the region". The SN decided to put off the 11th Congress of the POLISARIO Front until next year, although in principle it is held every three years. The SN also noted and acknowledged the position of the Spanish state and Spanish political groups in favour of the UN Peace plan. (Communiqué
French, Spanish) (SPS)

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

19.06.02
Violence
According to the Moroccan weekly "Le Reporter", a group of 12 youths attacked a police station in the Ras el Khaima area of El Ayoun with Molotov cocktails around 4 a.m., in an attempt to burn it down. Their operation failed due to the vigilance of a Saharawi police officer, who was slightly injured. The group, that according to the newspaper belonged to a "subversive movement", was armed with swords and knives. The same source said that it was the same group who "attempted to burn two private cars" in the Catalonia area of El Ayoun (see weeks 21-22 <http://www.arso.org/01-e02-2122.htm#Ancragecag>). According to another Moroccan source (Asabah, reported by EFE on 24.06), the group, composed of 15 youths around 20 years old, attacked police officers in a police station in El Ayoun with knives. The Moroccan daily gave no information on the motives behind these acts. (
Le Reporter) (EFE)

Human Rights
24.06.02
The El Ayoun police summoned all members of the office of the Forum for Truth & Justice &endash; Sahara Section to appear before them. Lahoussine Moutik, the president of the Sahara Section, went alone to the police station in the name of all the members. The summons concerned the report on human rights violations submitted by Saharawi human rights defenders to a delegation from the European Parliament who visited the occupied territories last February

25.06.02
Mohamed Haboub Mouilid, alias Tirsal, was arrested at the checkpoint on the way in to Smara and transferred to El Ayoun on the same day. He was returning home to Smara having participated in the work of the first "national" congress of the Forum for Truth & Justice in Rabat, as a member of the Sahara Section. Mohamed is the son of the late Haboub Mouilid, who disappeared in 1976 and, according to the accounts of survivors, died in Kalaat M'Gouna detention centre. Mohamed Haboub was released after 48 hours of intensive interrogation. It seems that the motivation for his interrogation was the famous report on human rights violations submitted by human rights activists to the European Parliament delegation. (
AFAPREDESA, see also week 24/02)

26.06.02
Hamadi Mohamed Lamin Jiyed, alias Enasiri, arrested in Rabat (week
25/02), was transferred to the "black prison" of El Ayoun and placed in solitary confinement. He was brought before the examining judge in the court at El Ayoun and the date of his trial fixed as 10th July 2002. (communiqué AFAPREDESA of 24.06.02,french),spanish)

28.06.02
The three activists H'mad Hammad, Idri Lahoussine and Ismaêli Brahim, questioned by Dakhla police last week (see week 25), were able to return to El Ayoun. They will appear before Dakhla magistrate's court on the 1st July for a motoring offence and attempting to evade arrest.

28.06.02
Two Saharawi employees of the company Phosboucraa were summarily and improperly transferred in the space of a few days: Elhamed Mahmoud (member of the Forum for Truth & Justice &endash; Sahara Section) to Casablanca, and Jaim Mohamed to Benguerir.

28.06.02
The International Bureau for the Respect of Human Rights in Western Sahara (BIRDHSO) enumerated a long list of persecutions that have been visited on human rights activists in Western Sahara over the last few weeks. It expressed its full solidarity with the victims and launched an appeal to the UN Special Representative for Human Rights Defenders, Madame Hina Jilani, to intervene urgently so that the Moroccan authorities cease these repressive practices against our Saharawi human rights activist colleagues. (
Press release)

MOROCCO

24.06.02
Human Rights
A delegation from Amnesty International began a 15-day visit to Morocco and the Western Sahara. The visit will attempt to shed light on the fate of several thousand people, mostly Saharawi, who have "disappeared" while in the hands of the Moroccan security forces since the 1960s. (
Press release)

25.06.02
Judgement
The European Court of Human Rights found in favour of freedom of expression in a case opposing Hassan II and the French daily "Le Monde". The paper published an article on November 3rd 1995, written by one Erich Incyan, on the production and trafficking of drugs in Morocco. The journalist questioned the strength of motivation of the authorities in Rabat in the struggle against the drugs trade. French courts fined the editor of Le Monde and the author of the article 2250 euros. The European Court judged that the public had a "legitimate interest to be informed about problems concerning drug trafficking in Morocco". According to the Court, the journalist and the newspaper had acted "in good faith on the basis of precise factual information" and had supplied "reliable information in accordance with good journalistic ethics". (
AP)

26.06.02
William Lacy Swing met King Mohamed VI in the presence of the Minister of the Interior Driss Jettou. This was the first meeting of the UN Special Representative for Western Sahara named last November. (agency).

SOLIDARITY

23.06.02
Holland
The inaugural meeting of the Netherlands Foundation for the Self-Determination of Western Sahara was held in Rotterdam (Holland). Created on the initiative of various eminent personalities supporting the Saharawi cause, this organisation will "promote solidarity with the Saharawi people and campaign so that the Saharawi people can fully exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination, in conformation with the pertinent resolutions of the UN and the OAU" stated the general co-ordinator of the Foundation, Elizabeth Den Haan. Contact: Netherlands Foundation for self-determination of Western Sahara, E-mail:
Liesbethdenhaan@planet.nl . (Communiqué )

27.06.02
Andalucia: "Vacaciones en Paz 2002".
Desde la madrugada del Jueves 27 de Junio, a las 04,30 horas, en que aterrizará en el Aeropuerto de Málaga el primer avión, hasta el Viernes 5 de Julio, a las 9 de la mañana, que llegará el último de los aviones, comienzan sus vacaciones de 2 meses en tierras andaluzas 2.500 niños y niñas saharauis, acogidos por otras tantas familias andaluzas. 11 aviones en total llegarán desde Tindouf (Argelia), donde están instalados los campamentos de refugiados saharauis, en los que "sobreviven" unas 170.000 personas, de los que cerca de 30.000 son niños/as. 2.500 familias andaluzas acogerán en sus casas a estas niñas y niños saharauis, que serán distribuidos por todas las provincias andaluzas: Almería (150), Cádiz (555), Córdoba (130), Granada (265), Huelva (200), Jaén (120), Málaga (200) y Sevilla (800). El esfuerzo de las familias acogedoras y de la propia Federación Andaluza de Asociaciones Solidarias con el Pueblo Saharaui es grande. Para ilustrar hasta donde llega el coste económico, decir que 1 solo avión (250 niños) cuesta más de 72.000 euros (unos 12 millones de pesetas). Ello sin valorar toda la infraestructura (aeropuerto, seguridad, dotación sanitaria, servicios operativos, voluntariado...), los 2 meses de estancia con las familias, la cobertura sanitaria del SAS (con el que se firma un Convenio), Suscripción de póliza de seguros, Responsabilidad Civil y Accidentes, etc...A destacar también la colaboración de la Administración pública (Delegación del Gobierno Central, Junta de Andalucía, Diputaciones, Ayuntamientos), Aeropuerto de Málaga (AENA), Guardia Civil, Policía Nacional, Cruz Roja, personal sanitario del S AS, Centro Cívico, empresas privadas de distintos sectores,... Teléfono de contacto: 607.373.356
amaps@eresmas.com

COMING UP ...

Algiers
28-30.06.02, First Algero-European Conference of Solidarity with the Saharawi People. The conference will focus on:

Italia
01.07.02 - Saharawi 2002, per saperne di più.
Immagini dal deserto dell'Hammada, il deserto più duro, dove il Popolo Saharawi vive in esilio da quasi 30 anni. Le tendopoli, le scuole, i tentativi di agricoltura sperimentale, gli ospedali. Le diapositive verranno proiettate alle ore 21,15, presso il giardino adiacente alla Chiesa di S. Maria a Quinto (Quinto Alto Sesto dell'Associazione Ban Slout Larbi per raccontare la storia di questo popolo e la situazione attuale, fino agli sviluppi degli ultimi mesi. L'iniziativa, organizzata dall'Associazione "La Concordia", dalla Casa del Popolo di Quinto Alto, dal Circolo MCL "Quinto Alto", dalla Misericordia di Quinto, dalla parrocchia di S. Maria a Quinto e dal Centro Civico n. 3 di Sesto Fiorentino, precede l'incontro con i bambini Saharawi ospiti delle Amministrazioni comunali della Piana e la cena di solidarietà, che si terranno a Quinto nella seconda metà di luglio. Dopo l'incontro saranno offerte fette di cocomero per tutti, come vuole la tradizione "quintigiana" per il primo lunedì di luglio. Per ulteriori informazioni:
saharawi@libero.it

03.07.02 - Commune di Bucine:Assessorato politiche e associazione valdarnese di solidarieta con il popolo saharawi ti invitano a paretcipare alla serata di solidarieta con il popolo sharawi che si terra al vecchio camp sportivo di Bucine. Alle ore 20h30 cena per la raccolta fondi per il popolo sharawi. Il costo sara di¤ 13. Info : 055 9912769/055 9911340/055 992216

España
4.07.02, Madrid, Sala Galileo Galilei (Galileo 100, metro Canal) 21.30 h. Concierto solidario, 9 ¤, "Alimentos para el Sáhara", con Amparanoia, Las Abuelas Fumadoras, Wafír, Mercedes Ferrer.

INTERNET

OPINION:

 

Sign the manifesto for peace in Western Sahara

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