Western Sahara in 2017: Moroccan authorities use “unnecessary excessive force”

London, Feb 23, 2018 (SPS) - The Moroccan authorities used, in 2017, “unnecessary and excessive force” against the population of Western Sahara who claimed their right to self-determination and justice, affirmed the latest annual report of Amnesty International (AI) on the situation of human rights in the world, published on Thursday.

The authorities routinely used excessive and unnecessary force to disperse peaceful protests in Western Saharan cities, including Laayoune, Smara, Boujdour and Dakhla, » said teh report.

The document underlined that “those demanding Sahrawi self-determination and calling for the release of Sahrawi prisoners were all targeted by this practice.”

Pointing out that in April, UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for another year without human rights monitoring. 

The report cites the example of Sahrawi blogger Walid El Batal who served a 10-month sentence and received a fine on trumped-up charges and that of Sahrawi activist Hamza El Ansari found guilty and sentenced to one year of prison on the basis of false accusations. (SPS)