Human Rights Violations continue during UN delegation visit

During the recent visit of the UN Human Rights High Commission to Western Sahara and Morocco, the Moroccan government continued to intimidate human rights activists and commit flagrant human rights violations:

On the afternoon of 15th April 2015, French citizen and human rights activist Marion Martin was expelled from Western Sahara and forced to return to Casablanca. The next day, seven plain clothes police officers forced her to leave her hotel and board a plane to Paris.

On 17th April 2015, the Moroccan police detained five German citizens in Marrakech for wearing T-Shirts showing a map of Morocco excluding the territory of Western Sahara. They were taken to a police station, interrogated and forced to leave their T-Shirts behind when they were eventually released.

In El Aiun, Moroccan forces intervened violently in demonstrations, which had been organised by human rights activists to send a message to the UN delegation and the international community about the repression in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara. Many Saharawis were injured and several had to be treated in al-Hasan ibn al-Mahdi in El Aiun, including women and disabled people.

Saharawi citizens are frequently stopped and intimidated by Moroccan forces in the streets of El Aiun. Police officers usually request to see passports and arbitrarily take Saharawis to the police station where they are interrogated and threatened.

The UN delegation as well as members of MINURSO, the UN Mission in Western Sahara, was able to witness the blockade imposed by the Moroccan authorities on all peaceful demonstrations and how the Moroccan police secretly films those participating in demonstrations.

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