WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

 

WEEK 37

08.-14.09.2002

SADR

11.09.02
Meeting of the Saharawi Consultative Council
The Council, composed of sheiks involved during the UN identification process, met in Smara camp in the presence of President Abdelaziz. He expressed his satisfaction with the latest resolution of the Security Council and called for the rapid implementation of the peace plan leading to a free, fair and impartial referendum. The Consultative Council meanwhile, condemned the plunder of natural resources of the Sahara by Morocco in violation of the law and denounced human rights abuses in the occupied territories.
In a letter sent to the ICRC the Council denounced the "double standards" of the policy towards prisoners of war. "This is all the more deplorable because of the laudable efforts you make to bring any news about Moroccan prisoners of war in the hands of the Polisario Front to their families, while the same efforts have not been put into this from the Moroccan side. (...) We reaffirm with you, the sheiks continue, our profound concern about the fate of the Saharawi prisoners of war and we regret that your respected committee has not been able to make enough effort to ease the suffering of the families of these men, despite the long period of their captivity" (since 1975 for the majority of them). (SPS)

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

©WSO

07.09.02
The 141 Saharawi detainees in the Carcel negra (black prison) of El Ayoun are pursuing their hunger strike which started over a week ago, "without the Moroccan authorities showing any care for their grievances or their precarious state of health". (SPS)

08.09.02
The family of the Saharawi human rights activist, Ali Salem Tamek made an
urgent appeal to all human rights organisations to intervene for the release of their son. (SPS)

10.09.02
Ali Salem Tamek, arrested on 26 August in Rabat, was found guilty of endangering state security (gathering intelligence for the Polisario Front) and was sentenced by the magistrate's court in Agadir to two years' imprisonment accompanied by a fine of 10,000 DH. He denies the charge and has started a hunger strike. His lawyers declared that they brought evidence of his innocence. They interpret the verdict as "ordered from on high". (see
week 35) .

11.09.02
The trial of DimaouiI Abdeslam, which should have taken place on 11 September was postponed until 16 October 2002 for an unknown reason.

REFERENDUM

28.08.02
UN - General Assembly- 57th session
Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization,
A/57/1
«23. Very limited progress was achieved in Western Sahara over the past year. My Personal Envoy has continued to pursue intensive consultations with all relevant parties on possible options and I welcome the support and encouragement that the Security Council has extended to him. I remain hopeful that an early political resolution, providing for self-determination, will bring an end to this long-standing dispute.»

12.09.02
Speech by Mr Dominique de Villepin, French Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"Concerning Western Sahara, it is good that the Security Council in its latest resolution has given Mr James Baker the time to work on bringing the parties closer together. This time must be put to good use towards making progress.|

HUMANITARIAN AID

13.09.02
Donation
The actress Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, donated $100,000 for urgently needed food aid for the Western Sahara refugees. She is the first major private donor to respond to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP)
joint appeal in late August for contributions to help feed and assist the Saharawi refugees."(WSO- UNHCR news)

COMING UP

21.09.02 Bern, Switzerland
Awarding of the human rights prize of 2002 of the International Society for Human Rights, Swiss section, to Marguerite and Robert Emery, activists in the International Bureau for the Respect of Human Rights in Western Sahara, BIRDHSO.

28 de septiembre: VII CENA DE SOLIDARIDAD CON EL PUEBLO SAHARAUI que como siempre los fondos irán destinados al colectivo de estudiantes saharauis que hay en la CC.AA de Aragón.Las reservas para la cena como todos los años habrá que confirmársela a Rafa o a Merche o por e-mail a la Oficina de Um Draiga: umdraiga@umdraiga.com

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