HRW severely criticizes Morocco

Washington, January 19, 2019 (SPS) - The non-governmental organization (NGOs) Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced Thursday the banning by Morocco of rallies in favor of self-determination as well as the obstruction imposed on the work of the NGOs in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

“The Moroccan authorities have systematically prevented rallies in favor of self-determination and obstructed the work of some local human rights NGOs,” said HRW in its 2019 report on the human rights’ situation in the world, presented Thursday in Berlin.

The violations committed against Sahrawi activists continued in 2018. The Moroccan authorities beat activists and journalists, under detention and in the streets, said the source.

The Sahrawi political activists organized on June 28 “a rally in al-Ayun on the occasion of the visit to the United Nations’ envoy. The Police beat at least seven activists, including members of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by Moroccan State,” said the source.

This report, which covers 2018, notes that the negotiation process under the aegis of the United Nations between Morocco and the Polisario Front for Western Sahara’s self-determination was at standstill last year despite the visits to the region of the UN envoy Horst Kohler.

“Morocco proposed a certain autonomy under its domination and rejects a referendum on the independence,” according to HRW. (SPS)