LONDON- The freedom of expression in Western Sahara is muzzled by Morocco which attacks journalists and human rights activists, denounced the British organization for human rights defence in Western Sahara, Adala UK.
The NOG wrote on its website this week that the Moroccan regime persecutes and imprisons journalists because of their political opinions, the same false charges for which human rights defenders are accused.
Journalists in Western Sahara are particularly victims of human rights violations and often suffer from arbitrary detention and torture, according to the organization.
It underlines that the reports it receives show an alarming increase in restrictions on the freedom of expression exerted by Morocco and its human rights violations in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
Adala UK cited the example of journalist of the Sahrawi city of Smara, Salah Labsir, who is still in prison, after being accused, wrongly, of premeditated violence against police and the destruction of public goods in 2013.
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.
LONDON- The British organization for human rights defence in Western Sahara, Adala UK, denounced the "arbitrary expulsion" by the Moroccan occupation authorities of international observers from Western Sahara.
The non-governmental organization said that "at least 85 people, including foreign observers, human rights activists, journalists and other supporters of the Sahrawi cause," adding that those repressive actions aim at "silencing human rights activists in the occupied Sahrawi territories."
On Saturday, "the Moroccan authorities expelled four young Norwegians from the occupied city of Smara, as they were about to meet activists of the Sahrawi civil society and NGOs," Adala UK said in a statement.
The NGO, quoted Sunday by the Sahrawi news agency (SPS) said that "the young Norwegians have had their passports confiscated and were interrogated by the Moroccan police, and then driven to the city of Agadir in Morocco."
Adala UK added that the decision to expel human rights activists from the Sahrawi occupied authorities show Morocco's intentions and attempts to prevent a legitimate investigation on human rights abuses and to impose a news blackout on the situation of Sahrawi people in the occupied territories."
LONDON- The British organization for human rights defence in Western Sahara, Adala UK, denounced Saturday the violation of Sahrawi children's right by Morocco in its "campaign of collective punishment" to intimidate young Sahrawis.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) said that over the past three months of 2016, 24 minors were detained and tortured by Moroccan forces in a bid to stop any resistance to its occupation of Western Sahara.
The British NGO cited several testimonies of eyewitnesses or victims, who most of them were "violently attacked, immobilised and quickly taken away" from their families in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, "causing considerable panic and distress" to their families.
On 20th November 2016, the Moroccan police arrested three minors in Al-Ayun Jamal Salami, Hajoub El Mojahid and El Bashir Babait, who were "interrogated" and "maltreated" before being presented to the royal prosecutor on 25 January.
Another minor, Ibrahim Mayara, was "arbitrarily detained on 26 November," and is due to appear before a court by the end of January 2017.
On 8th December, a judge conditionally liberated 15-year-old Aziz Afnido, who had been detained for participating in a peaceful protest. Aziz was interrogated for 72 hours and told Adala UK he was subjected to "maltreatment and beatings" in police custody, said Adala UK.
Detainees are frequently tortured and are often not told the reason for their arrest or where they are being taken, said the British NGO, adding that their parents are not usually authorized to accompany them or be present during their interrogations.
Adala UK also denounced the fact that those detainees "are forced to sign confessions which are written in French or another language they do not speak."
Since the second Intifada in 2005, hundreds of Sahrawi children have been arrested, denying them the protection they should be guaranteed according to the international human rights treaties.
LONDON – The British Organization of Human Rights in Western Sahara, Adala UK, called on Morocco to allow the international observers’ access to Western Sahara, condemning the blockade imposed on the Sahrawi territories.
The NGO said in a message released Monday on its website, that hundreds of international human rights defenders, journalists and observers have tried to enter the Sahrawi territories occupied by Morocco and in 2016, 89 have been returned to Moroccan cities or expelled to their countries.
"They have come in response to the calls by Saharawi groups and NGOs who want to bring about an end to the block placed on the region by Morocco which is preventing people’s participation in activities of non-violent resistance against the Moroccan occupation," said Adala UK.
The NGO said that two lawyers, José Revert Calabuig and Nieves Cubas Armas, representatives of the General Council of the Spanish Legal Profession who had planned to visit the trial on 21 December of Saharawi activist Ali Saadouni and his fellow activists in Al Ayun were expelled from the capital of Occupied Western Sahara at midday on 20 December.
The British NGO had already called the UN to immediately set up an international and neutral mechanism of human rights surveillance in the Sahrawi territories, as part of MINURSO mission.