LONDON- The British organization for human rights defence in Western Sahara, Adala UK, denounced Friday the use of torture by Morocco against Sahrawi civilians who oppose Moroccan colonization of their country, and called for investigations into those complaints.
AdalaUK wrote on its website that Morocco continues to use "torture," and its "constant" human rights violations in Western Sahara make the situation in which Sahrawi are living "critical."
"Morocco does not just maltreat and torture Sahrawi civilians in the occupied Sahrawi territories and Moroccan cities, but also arbitrarily detains (...) and use torture and punishments against them in prisons, without motive, and force them to sign documents that implicate them in acts of which they are totally innocent," said the British NGO.
"These documents are used as the only forms of evidence and are confessions obtained under torture," added Adala UK.
The NGO cited many testimonies to which it has had access, including through interviews with detainees, current and ex-prisoners of conscience as well as testimonies of family members of victims.
Moroccan agents use many instruments of physical and psychological torture against Sahrawi detainees, like denial of family visits, submerging the head in buckets of water, sleep deprivation, as well as restrictions on food, drink and access to healthcare, said Adala UK
"Morocco has gravely infringed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," added the British NGO.
Adala UK recalled the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, to Morocco and Western Sahara in September 2012.
Following his visit, Mendez "signalled that public prosecutors and judges rarely investigate complaints which allege the use of torture to obtain evidence or confessions during the early stages of interrogations," said the NGO.