Adala UK participated in an event entitled “Together for the extension of MINURSO” in El Aiun, Western Sahara, organized by families of the disappeared, in support of the international campaign for the broadening of the MINURSO mandate to include human rights monitoring. This campaign will run until the April, the date of the annual renewal of the MINURSO mandate.
Participants talked about the history of forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions, which are illegal according to international and national law. These laws should protect family members and give them the right to be told the whereabouts of the victims. However, according to participants, the human rights situation in Western Sahara has not improved despite several promises by the Moroccan government to the UN Security Council to respect human rights in Western Sahara.
During the event, photos of political prisoners and people who had been disappeared or assassinated by the Moroccan authorities since the occupation of Western Sahara in 1975, were exhibited, as well as signs containing slogans such as “Yes to self-determination”, “Freedom for political prisoners” and “Yes to human rights monitoring”. There was an increased police presence in the area where the meeting was held.
Several Saharawi NGOs and media representatives attended the event. They continue to work hard in order to provide information to the outside world, despite the media blockade imposed by the Moroccan authorities and their control over the internet and telephone conversations.
Members of Adala UK observed road blocks in the streets leading to the area where the event was held which prevented many Saharawis from attending.