WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEKS 18 + 19

27.04.03.-10.05.2003

 

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

23.04.03
Political detainee
The Saharawi political detainee, Tamek Ali Salem, was heard by the public prosecutor at the appeal court in Rabat. Several Moroccan newspapers, both Arabic and French language, reproduced the letter of the Moroccan Prime Minister, Driss Jettou in which he recognises Tamek as a prisoner of opinion.
On 21.04.03 Tamek sent an open letter to the SG of the UN (
spanish). In it he draws attention to the recent attacks on human rights in the occupied territories. He asks MINURSO to concern themselves with respect for human rights in Western Sahara and to call the Moroccan authorities to shed light on the fate of disappeared Saharawis.

01.05.03
First of May in El Ayoun
The annual march of workers affiliated to the Moroccan trades union organisation CDT (Confédération Démocratique du Travail) was hindered by police. Representatives of the authority declared that the march could not take place while activists of the Sahara section of the Forum for Truth and Justice (FVJSAH) were participating, because, according to them, they create disorder and uphold the policies of the Polisario Front. The Moroccan trades union officials then refused to march and started chanting slogans expressing their solidarity with activists of the FVJSAH, soon joined by the crowd, who denounced the intimidations of Saharawi defenders of human rights and human rights abuses in Western Sahara. In 2001 also, the march of the Moroccan workers organisation UMT "Union Marocaine du Travail" was banned by the Moroccan authorities. (
week 18/2001). (corr.)

02.05.03
Postponed trial
The trial of
El Moussaoui Dkhil, due to be held this week was postponed to 26 May 2003. The Saharawi human rights activist and member of the executive of the Forum for Truth and Justice, Sahara Section, was questioned at his place of work on 8 April 2003 in Dakhla.

07.05.03
Dissolution of the Forum for Truth and Justice Sahara Section
The court of El Ayoun postponed the trial to 4 June, acceding to the written request of three barristers from Rabat, Mr Abderrahman Benameur, ex-president of the AMDH, Mr Ali Amar, member of the executive of AMDH and Mr Mohamed Sebbar, president the FVJ (Forum for Truth and Justice) who make up the defence with four Saharawi lawyers. Many members of the public were present at the sitting, the majority were activists of the Sahara section of the FVJ. For the first time representatives with various political and trades union backgrounds followed the hearing. They were Moroccan activists from the GSU (Unified Socialist Left), CDT (Democratic Labour Confederation), UMT (Moroccan Labour Union) Ennahj Adimoucrati, PADS, AMDH, established in El Ayoune, Smara and Boujdour. Significant security measures were evident in and around the court, members of various services of police were disguised as members of the public...
The charge mentions 18 persons, of whom some are not even members of the association facing accusations. It seems therefore to be a question of a campaign of intimidation directed against all Saharawi human rights defenders.(corr.)

REFERENDUM

01.05.03
On the subject of Baker's plan
The Madrid daily El Pais devotes an article to the revelations on the Peace Plan for Western Sahara that Marrack Goulding published in his book "Peacemonger". The former Under-Secretary-General in charge of Peace Keeping operations at the UN, in office at the time of Baker's appointment in 1997, claims in his book to have been asked by Annan to contact Baker and to persuade him to accept the mission as Personal Envoy and to try to negotiate a deal based on autonomy for Western Sahara within Morocco. Goulding quotes as proof a
letter from Annan to Baker. Goulding goes as far assaying in the interview with El Pais that this was in fact a plan taken up again from Pérez de Cuéllar, the predecessor of Kofi Annan. (El Pais, 01.05.03), (Le Matin 04.05.03), (SPS, 03.05.03 english) (Press release Western Sahara Campaign, 06.05.03)

02.05.03
Security Council
The Security Council held a session on Western Sahara, in the presence of James Baker, who informed it of the responses of the parties to his proposal for a political solution. Baker held separate meetings as well with the permanent representatives of Morocco and Algeria with the United Nations.

MOROCCO

26.04.03
The Association, the Moroccan Sahara, lodged an application with the ministry of communications for a permit to create a television channel and a radio station broadcasting from Agadir and covering Western Sahara and southern Algeria including Tindouf.

Pilgrimage to Agdz
The Moroccan Forum for Truth and Justice (FVJ) is organising at the beginning of June a caravan to the former secret detention centre of Agdz, renovated today as a tourist centre. It denounces this take-over and asks for the preservation of places of detention until a Commission on truth is set up.

07.05.03
The trial of Ali Lmrabet, director of publication of the Moroccan magazines Demain and Doumane, has been postponed until 13 May. The journalist is accused of "insult to the person of the King", and "attacks on the monarchic regime" and "attacks on territorial integrity".(
Web Site of support for Ali Lmrabet)

Committee of support for Ali Lamrabet
In response to a call from, among others, the Convergence of Moroccan Democrats Abroad (Paris), the Forum for Truth and Justice - France, and the Moroccan Democratic Youth Abroad (JDME) a committee of support for Ali Lmrabet and for the respect of the freedom of expression in Morocco has been created.

27.04.03
Intimidations
For several days members of the Moroccan Democratic Youth Abroad (JDME) have been subjected to actions of intimidation. Anonymous telephone calls, mixed with threats, contacts made under various pretexts with the intention of applying psychological pressure. In a statement, the JDME protests strongly against "these practices which take us back to a period we thought was over".

28.04.03
Solidarity
In a statement, the Union of Journalists and Writers of Saguia El Hamra and Rio de Oro (UJESARIO) condemns the violations of the right to free expression of the press by Moroccan authorities. It expresses its "solidarity" with Ali Lmrabet, who has been able to "dissociate himself from the press in the pay of the expansionist Moroccan regime" and whose democratic struggle will one day succeed. Saharawi journalists and writers call on all human rights organisations and defenders to "show solidarity with Mr Lmrabet". (SPS)

08.05.03
Secret agreement
The Spanish daily La Razon revealed the existence of a secret accord, concluded at the time of the Azores summit, aiming to get Morocco to renounce its territorial claims on Ceuta and Melilla. The paper announces that "Washington will send a letter to Morocco suggesting it should freeze claims on these two towns in exchange for support on the question of the Sahara". (La Razon)

HUMAN RIGHTS

08.05.03
European Parliament
The president of the Parliamentary group of European Socialist parties Baron E. Crespo, has written a letter to the Ambassador of Morocco with the European Union, to express its "concern" about Moroccan human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. (SPS)

09.05.03
Hunger strike
The Saharawi prisoners, political as well as commons, several hundred persons, in the prisons of El Ayoun, Ait Melloul (Agadir), Tiznit, Safi, Salé and Kenitra, have started a hunger strike for 48 hours. They protest against ill-treatment and summary trials. They ask for the right of visits for their families, the right for information and training, the respect of their dignity and appeal to the Human Rights organisations to put pression on the Moroccan government. (corr)

SOLIDARITY

30.04.03
Italy
A new association of solidarity with the Saharawi people has been set up in La Spezia (Italy). In a statement, the founding members announced their intention to raise awareness on the local, regional and national levels in Italy about "the justice of the Saharawi cause" and on the "inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination". (SPS)

COMING UP

New Zealand
May 22, 7.30pm, St Columbus Church, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby.
Public meeting with Fatima Mahfoud, a representative of the Polisario Front. She is also a representative of the National Union of Sahrawi Women, and has recently been working representing the Sahrawi independence struggle and National Union of Sahrawi Women in Europe. Contact Felicity Coggan, Ph 5795707, email:fcoggan@xtra.co.nz

CHARLA-CONFERENCIA XXX. ANIVERSARIO DEL FRENTE POLISARIO
Les comunicamos que con motivo del XXX. Aniversario del Frente Polisario, máxima autoridad Saharaui en el exilio desde la ocupación marroquí de su territorio, hemos organizado, la Asociación de Amig@s de la R.A.S.D de Alava y la delegación del Frente Polisario en Euskadi, una charla-conferencia, a cargo de Ahmed Boukhari, Delegado del Frente Polisario ante las Naciones Unidas, bajo el título "Las Naciones Unidas en el conflicto del Sahara", que tendrá lugar el próximo día 12 DE MAYO, a las 20h. en el Centro Cultural Montehermoso de la ciudad de Vitoria-Gasteiz. Para cualquier consulta al respecto, no duden en contactar con nosotr@s: elkartea@saharaelkartea.org

INTERNET

 

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]

Français

Les dépêches, articles, etc, sont accessibles aux non-abonnés sur Sahara-Info, liste de courrier (français et espagnol): http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/sahara-info/messages

English

English publications on Sahara Update mailinglist: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahara-update/messages

Castellano

Todos los despachos, articulos de prensa, etc, son acessible por no-abonados en Sahara-Info, lista de correo (castellano y francés): http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/sahara-info/messages

Noticias de prensa, Recopilación semanal de todos los articulos de la prensa de España: http://www.nodo50.org/labarored/interpueblos/Sahara/

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