International pressure increases to compel Morocco to cease its repression in occupied Sahrawi territories, confirms International Crisis Group

Brussels, 7 August 2021 (SPS) - Morocco is facing mounting pressure over its crackdown on civilians and human rights activists in the occupied Saharan territories, the International Crisis Group has affirmed.

The Group highlighted in its July report - reviewed by Sumoud - that international pressure was aimed at forcing the Moroccan regime to end the repression against Sahrawis, which escalated dramatically after the outbreak of the war in Western Sahara in mid-November.

The report noted that the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, had called on Morocco to stop the criminalization of human rights activists, especially those who demand the rights of the Sahrawi people.

The UN official condemned the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture of Sahrawi activists and prisoners, the report added. 

The report quoted Amnesty International as confirming the escalation of repression against Sahrawi pro-independence activists as the Moroccan regime has intensified its human rights violations since November 2020, including ill-treatment, arrests and harassment with "22 reported human rights violations by Moroccan security forces against Sahrawi activists and human rights defenders. (SPS)