WESTERN SAHARA - NEWS

WEEKS 21 - 22 : 20.05. - 02.06.2007

original french

 

SADR

16-18.05.07
A delegation from the United Social Democrat Party of Guinea Bissau, a member of the ruling coalition, is on a visit to SADR. [Joint statement, SPS,French]

07-19.05.07
The Panafrican Parliament adopted at the closing of its 7th session, a resolution upholding the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence, “called on the African Union and Security Council to assume their responsibilities towards a speedy decolonization of Western Sahara”. [BuaNews (Tshwane, ZA), 20 May 2007]

19.05.07
The president of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, received a delegation from Cuba led by the deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marcos Rodriguez Cortas. [SPS]

19-21 mai 2007, Mijek
34th anniversary of the start of the Polisario Front’s armed struggle of liberation.
Speech of the Saharawi president: Mohamed Abdelaziz deplores the lack of encouraging signs from Morocco about the negotiations.  [SPS, 20/05/2007-French]
Press conference: Morocco is afraid of the negotiations, the Saharawi president believes.  [SPS, 21/05/2007, French]
Participation of Abdelaziz Menebhi, Moroccan former political prisoner, long-time opponent (member of IIal el-ammam, first president of the Moroccan National Union of Students), who stated that “the Moroccan autonomy proposal is nothing but an attempt to prolong the Saharawi question indefinitely”. [SPS, 20/05/2007, French]
A Moroccan in Mijek, blog WSahara Info, 24.05.07: http://w-sahara.blogspot.com/2007/05/moroccan-in-mijek.html

21.05.07
Annual conference of the Saharawi diaspora of the South (Mauritania and sub-Saharan Africa) : affirms its support for the “intifada of independence”. [SPS, 21/05/2007, French]
Commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the peaceful intifada in the occupied territories of Western Sahara celebrated in Mijek. [SPS, 21.05.07. French]
Photos of the celebrations in Mijek:
http://www.rasd-state.ws/20mayofotos.asp

29.05.07
The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, attends investiture ceremonies for the new Nigerian President, Oumarou Mousa Yar'adoua, in Abuja. [SPS]

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND SOUTH MOROCCO

17-28.05.07, the former political prisoner and human rights activist, Fatma Ayach is carrying out a tour of South Africa. She met members of parliament from the different South African parties, government ministers and officials.
 
From 16-24.05.07 in Pretoria a week of solidarity with the Saharawi people takes place, on the initiative of parties from the ruling coalition and important people in South African civil society.
24.05.07, Pretoria, demonstration outside the Moroccan embassy in South Africa. [Protesters call for a free Western Sahara, Sapa, 24.05.07]
25.05.07, seminar on the conflict in Western Sahara, organised by the South African Human Rights Commission. It results in the creation of the South African Forum for solidarity with SADR, which includes members of the government Alliance, representatives of the Union of  South African NGOs, leading members of women’s and youth organisations linked with the ANC or with the South African Communist party, members of the South African Council of Churches, members of the South African Commission for Human Rights, and members of the Union of South African Students, lawyers, doctors and journalists. [SPS]

Human rights abuses – Repression of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities

Police exactions and violence continue, accompanied by a campaign of intimidation and arrests against Saharawi citizens and particularly human rights defenders.
Some documents:
Témoignage d'une victime.
[ASVDH 25.05.07]
Le CODESA proteste contre de multiples agressions contre des prisonniers politiques, communiqué, 25.05.07:
http://www.arso.org/CODESA250507.htm
Testimony of  Bneyna ment Maatallah Achtouki [ASVDH]
Repression, arrests and violation and spoliation of houses in El-Ayoune, [ASVDH] 25.05.07

Morocco police beat W.Sahara activists-campaigners, Reuters, 25.05.07:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L23343249.htm
Relato de un viaje a los territorios ocupados del Sahara Occidental, Keico Shingo: http://www.arso.org/opinions/KeicoShingo2007.htm

17.05.07, El-Ayoun
Attack on the home of Eddia Sidi Ahmed, whose son had just been arrested in Rabat, by an intervention group from the town of El Ayoun. [Corr.]

18.05.07, Smara
Gathering dispersed violently by police during the welcoming of a family coming from the refugee camps. The UNHCR opens an inquiry. [SPS]

18.05.07, Tiznit
Attack in Tiznit prison on Saharawi political detainees Tamek Mohamed, Kajjout, Najiâa and Mansouri Driss. They start a hunger strike demanding their separation from common law prisoners, an inquiry and an improvement in the conditions of imprisonment. The Prosecutor General orders an inquiry. [ASVDH]

18.05.07, Inzegane
Five Saharawi students, held in the local Inzegane prison on hunger strike to denouce the inhuman conditions of their detention and to claim the right to be regrouped and isolated from common law prisoners. [ASVDH]

20.05.07, El-Ayoun
Questioning and holding for several hours in police stations of several human rights defenders and activists from civil society: Douihi Hassanna, Brahim el Ansari, member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Asfari Naama, co-president of CORELSO, Sidahmed Lamjeyid, president of the Committee of Support for the United Nations Resolution and for the Protection of Natural Resources of Western Sahara. Attempts to arrest Daha Errahmouni, ASVDH executive member, Naseur Salmani, member of AMDH and the FVJ and Brahim Farah, member of AMDH  and the union of phosphate workers.  [ASVDH  [AP, 20.05.07].
[CODESA 25.05.07, French]

23.05.07, El-Ayoun
Two members of CODESA, Yahdih Tarrouzi and Amidane Elwali and Saharawi political detainees, Toubali Elhafed and  Bahaha Mohamed Salem are attacked by common law prisoners in the Black Prison. [CODESA 25.05.07, French]

27.05.07
Four Saharawi political prisoners imprisoned in Inzegane launch an appeal to the big human rights associations and demand a commission of inquiry into the human rights abuses committed in regard to them.
[EFE]

Protests

18.05.07, Sweden
The official spokesperson for foreign affairs for the Swedish Liberal Party, Birgitta Ohlsson, asks the Minister for Foreign Affairs to intervene to stop the repression against Saharawi students. The youth organisation of the same party made a similar request in a statement from its president,  Johansson Metso. [Statement in Swedish]

20.05.07, Report on the repression of the Moroccan authorities to the Sahrawi students in the Moroccan universities by  CODESA, Collective of Saharawi human rights defenders: http://www.arso.org/CODESAreportmay2007.htm

21.05.07, session of the European Parliament; MEP Willy Meyer accuses Morocco of “systematically abusing international law” and calls on European institutions not to turn their eyes away from the situation prevailing in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. [A European Parliamentarian accuses Morocco of "systematic violation of international law", UPES, 22/05/2007]

22.05.07, European Parliament : the European parliamentary intergroup, Peace for the Saharawi people condemns the repression of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities. [Declaracion]

23.05.07, Norway
Stop the attacks on the Sahrawi students! Open letter to the Moroccan government, signed by 43 Norwegian civil society organisations. 23.05.07: http://www.vest-sahara.no/index.php?parse_news=single&cat=1&art=488

23.05.07, European Union Council
Written question from MEPs, Napoletano, Carnero González, García-Pérez, Guardans, Meyer Pleite, Romeva and Scheele to the Council concerning the repression of Saharawi students.
Other associations, l'AARASD, l'AFASPA (France), Jaima saharawi (Italy), etc. also protest. CORELSO writes to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, B. Kouchner.

28.05.07, the Collective of Saharawi human rights defenders launches an appeal. [French]

29.05.07
The Saharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz, calls on the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to intervene urgently with the Moroccan authorities, to guarantee respect for human rights and the most basic freedoms of Saharawis in the occupied territories, in southern Morocco and in Moroccan universities. [SPS]

Trials of human rights defenders and Saharawi student protesters.

21.05.07, El-Ayoun
The co-president of CORELSO, Ennaâma Asfari’s  suspended sentence of two months’ prison and a fine of 500 dirhams is maintained on appeal. [SPS]

22.05.07, El-Ayoun
Brahim Sabbar, secretary general of ASVDH and Ahmed Sbai, member of the coordinating council, sentenced on 6 March 2007 in the Court of First Instance to one year’s prison, saw their punishment lengthened by six months. The three year prison sentences of Elhafed Toubali, Mohamed Lehbib Elgasmi and Mohamed Salem Ahmeidat were confirmed on appeal. [Morocco lengthens prison terms for Western Sahara activists, colleague says, The Associated Press, Tuesday, May 22, 2007.]

25.05.07, Marrakech
Sultana Khaya is sentenced to 8 months’ prison, the six fellow students accused with her to 12 months’ prison. Two Spanish observers attend the trial. The families of students and their friends having been banished from the court room, the lawyers retired. [Compte-rendu, French]

29.05.07, El-Ayoun
On appeal sentences of Elwali Amidane, Yahdih Ettarouzi and Bachri Taleb are maintained. The former Saharawi political detainee, Lamine Bada is sentenced to 18 months in prison. [ASVDH]

30.05.07, Agadir
Five Saharawi students are sentenced to two months’ prison and a fine of 500 dirham for attacking, wounding and inciting to violence. [ ASVDH]

NATURAL RESOURCES

Pillage of phosphate – campaign against  FMC-Foret - documentation:
DOSSIER:
FMC FORET EXPOLIA LOS FOSFATOS DEL SAHARA - INFORME: con fotogalerias y anexos. [Sahara Libre.es]
NGOs supporting Western Sahara accuse the firm FMC Foret of plundering 500.000 tonnes of phosphates yearly, EUROPA PRESS, 17.05.07 (translation)

22.05.07
Algeria and Cuba expressed their “firm support” for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to implement Security Council resolution 1754 on Western Sahara. [SPS]

22.05.07, Spain
The Coordination of Associations in solidarity with the Saharawi people (CEAS-Sahara) called on Spanish citizens to take account of the question of Western Sahara during municipal and regional elections due on 27 May.

27.05.07, Norway
The Norwegian Committee of support for the Saharawi people has the ambition to create an international solidarity movement with the Saharawi people like the anti-apartheid movement, Ronny Hansen, president of this committee, indicated to APS.

30.05.07, Paris
According to the French foreign ministry spokesman, the visit of Mr Van Walsum to Paris comes within the framework of the implementation of resolution 1754. The French position on Western Sahara has not varied, he added. [Echorouk online engl. ed.]

31.05.07, negotiations
The UN fixed 18 June as the start of the negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front. According to the Madrid daily, ABC, they will take place near New York. [ABC]
Confirmed by the arabophone newspapers "El Charq El Aoussat" et "El Qods El Arabi", place is Manhasset 27 km far from New-York , four negociators by each of the parties.

31.05 07, diplomacy
On the occasion of the visit of the French President, Sarkozy, and the head of the US State Deparment Rice in Madrid, the Coordination of associations in solidarity with the Saharawi people in Madrid sent them letters. It also set going a letter and fax campaign to the United Nations Secretary General, visiting Madrid on 5 and 6 June. As well, a demonstration is planned for 6 June outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid.
In France, CORELSO sends letters to political parties presenting candidates at the legislative elections.

01.06.07, diplomacy
Visit of Moroccan Foreign Minister Benaissa with Fassi-Fihri to France is anounced for June 4.
[déclaration

MOROCCO

22.05.07, military and police forces
According to El Pais, the Moroccan army consists of 180,000 men, of which 120,000 are deployed on the defensive wall. Police numbers exceed 40,000 men, to which must be added 30,000 members of auxiliary forces and 22,000 gendarmes.

26.05.07, censorship: Maroc Telecom blocked access to Youtube site for five days. [Reporters without Borders, 28.05.07].  [BBC]

29.05.07, Morocco offers the USA to accommodate the future centre of command of the American army in Africa. AFRICOM.
[ Middle East Newsline]

30.05.07, The Spanish daily, El Pais reveals that Spain sold for 600,000 euros riot control gear to the Moroccan police.

SOLIDARITY

20.05.07.
Le président de l’Alliance d’Europe Centrale et Orientale de Solidarité avec le Peuple saharaoui, Matyas Benyik, adresse une lettre au président français Sarkozy.

18.05.07, Suède
The Swedish human rights organization SILC (Swedish International Liberal Centre) has released a statement saying: "Freedom for Western Sahara!": http://www.silc.se/article.rhtml?id=286

28.05.07, Alger
Le centre culturel sahraoui Mohamed Fadel Ismail à Alger héberge une exposition de la photographe  Malika Taghlit consacrée aux enfants sahraouis. [El Watan, 30.05.07]  [Gallerie d'images[Amb RASD Argel]

COMING UP...

Concentración de apoyo al pueblo saharaui, con motivo de la llegada a Madrid del Secretario general de la ONU, Miércoles, 6 de Junio, de 16.30 a 18.00 h. Frente al Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Plaza de la Provincia, Madrid.

Concierto de la cantante saharaui Mariem Hassan, el dia 8 de junio, a las 23horas, en La Capsa. Ens pots trobar a l'Avinguda Pare Andreu de Palma, número 5-7. Org:  ACAPS-PRAT : http://sahararesiste.blogspot.com/2007/06/8-de-junio-de-2007-acto-solidaro-en-el.html

Juny 2007. Jornades de cooperació a Premià de Mar  : http://sahararesiste.blogspot.com/2007/06/juny-2007-jornades-de-cooperaci-premi.html

ARTIFARITI 2007
I Encuentros de Arte en Territorios Liberados del Sahara Occidental, TIFARITI (SAHARA LIBERADO), 10 al 27 de Octubre 2007
E-mail: 2007@artifariti.org - artifariti2007@yahoo.es, http://artifariti.blogspot.com/ - http://www.artifariti.org

INTERNET

Nuevos sitios- Nouveaux sites - New Sites

Nuevos blogs

Best of blogs:

Video

Debate en Libertad Digital :
Sáhara, treinta años después (1ª Parte): http://www.libertaddigital.tv/ldtv.php/programas/ver-debatesenlibertad/sahara_treinta_anos_despues/
Sáhara, treinta años después (2ª Parte): http://www.libertaddigital.tv/ldtv.php/programas/ver-debatesenlibertad/sahara_treinta_anos_despues_2_parte/

Rainbow Rovers: Sahara Convoy 2007 - Be Part Of It! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54anMJkGuKE

DOCUMENTS

OPINIONS: http://opinions.arso.org

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

Français
>> Revue de la presse internationale francophone http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/revue-de-presse-sahara-occidental/messages

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

Castellano
>> Revista de la prensa en español http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/revista-de-prensa-sahara-occidental/messages

NUEVO LIBRO:
Sáhara en el corazón, Sas Nah Larosi, 64 p., Gráficas Almeida, Madrid, español-árabe. http://www.graficasalmeida.com/

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