Self-determination referendum, sole guarantor of Sahrawis’ rights

Brussels, 8 May 2020 (SPS) - Speeding up the implementation of the United Nations resolutions linked in particular to the organization of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara is the sole guarantor of the respect of the Sahrawi people rights, said legal international experts.

In a declaration following a virtual training day organized by the Sahrawi representation in Europe and in the European Union (EU), entitled "Western Sahara and the role of international human rights mechanisms," activists and experts under international law stressed that enlarging the MINURSO mandate to monitoring of human rights and the organization of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara, is "the only guarantor of the respect of the human rights of the Sahrawi people and the end of their suffering which lasted more than 45 years due to the Moroccan military occupation."

The authors of the Declaration called on the Moroccan government to respond to the appeal launched by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to release the Sahrawi prisoners, in particular those having health issues, prisoners of conscience and political prisoners who are daily exposed to Covid-19 without the benefit of care outside the prisons.

The day has been an opportunity to listen to testimonies which helped to identify the "most glaring" aspects of human rights issues in the occupied Sahrawi territories in general and that of the Sahrawi prisoners in particular. (SPS)