During the first two weeks of March, Adala UK representatives participated in the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, providing information to participants about the human rights abuses suffered by the Saharawi population.
Sidi Ahmed Fadel and Isabel Lourenzo from Adala UK were able to meet with delegations and NGOs from different countries and share recent reports with them, explaining the situation of Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons and the abuse and mal-treatment Saharawi children and women are exposed to.
Alongside the main meetings, several ‘parallel events’ were held, some of which were sponsored by the Kingdom of Morocco, with the intention of suggesting that the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara are ‘Southern provinces of Morocco’ and a peaceful and well-developed region. During these ‘panel discussions’, questions from the audience are not permitted and there is no dialogue.
Adala UK was able to speak to the Moroccan delegation outside of the formal meetings and according to the Moroccan officials, there are no Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons and international NGOs are not welcome if their views coincide with UN resolutions, i.e. if they recognise the illegality of the occupation.
Adala UK also participated in specific discussions on the topics of women as well as explosive weapons, reporting the existence of over 8 million landmines andexplosive weapons along the 2,720km long wall, constructed by Morocco, which divides the territory of Western Sahara in two. These arms have already claimed over 2,500 victims, and regularly kill camels and other animals, which are essential for the Saharawi people’s subsistence. A group of Saharawi women from a refugee camp volunteers to demine the area on a daily basis. 26km of the wall have also been de-mined by the NGO ‘Action against mines’.