Violent Intervention by Moroccan Police against peaceful demonstrators in El Aaiun, occupied capital city of Western Sahara, on 20th October 2013
image of Moroccan police officers in uniform and civilian clothes, throwing stones at Saharawi demonstrators
On the first day of the third visit of the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara, the Moroccan state commits serious human rights violations by breaking up peaceful demonstrations by Saharawi protestors.
From 6pm until midnight, on 19th October, the Saharawi population of El Aaiun took to the streets for peaceful protests, waving Saharawi flags and chanting slogans against the occupation and human rights violations and demanding the right to self-determination and independence.
The demonstrations, which developed simultaneously in several streets, were headed up by Saharawi human rights organisations, and were confronted by a brutal intervention by the Moroccan police and auxiliary forces which launched teargas grenades, hot water smelling of sewage, and stones. Activists were beaten and tortured, including women and elderly people. The city’s streets were blocked by police.
In the district of Hay Mattalla, a Saharawi stronghold, protesters were able to hold off entry of the Moroccan forces for at least 3 hours, this being the area where the last protests originated.
The repressive detachments entered people’s houses by force, destroying and stealing their possessions.
Adala UK condemns:
- the destruction and robbery of people’s personal possessions, committed by the Moroccan police.
- our solidarity with the victims of the brutal intervention committed by the Moroccan authorities.
- our condemnation of the brutal intervention by the Moroccan authorities against the peaceful Saharawi demonstrations
- our plea that the UN intervene as quickly as possible to put an end to the violence and assume its responsibility in the face of the alarming human rights situation. This situation, far from improving (the expectation following the last Security Council resolution), has done nothing but worsen due to the lack of political will on Morocco’s part; failing to meet the promises required of it by the international community.
- our call to the international community, local human rights bodies, international organisations and governments friendly to Morocco to intervene against the Moroccan state to stop the violence perpetrated in Western Sahara against the defenceless Saharawi citizens.
By Sidi Ahmed Fadel (ADALAUK)
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