Morocco's human rights violations against Sahrawi prisoners: WSAF blames Security Council

London, April 29, 2016 (SPS) - The international organization supporting Western Sahara and based in the United Kingdom, Western Sahara Action Forum (WSAF) has blamed the United Nations Security Council for Morocco's human rights violations against Sahrawi prisoners.

All violations by the Moroccan authorities against Sahrawi citizens are "direct result of the UN Security Council's failure to implement a referendum on the right of self-determination" of Sahrawi people, said WSAF in a statement published on its website.

"Arbitrary arrest, torture in detention, denial of adequate medical care and unfair trials are all common violations by the Moroccan state against Sahrawi citizens," said the UK-based organization.

WSAF has reiterated its solidarity with all Sahrawi prisoners in Moroccan jails and called on the UN Security Council to include human rights monitoring in the mandate of the UN Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which should set, the soonest possible, a date for the referendum.

The international organization also expressed concerns about the "health of 17 Sahrawi university students, currently on hunger strike in the Moroccan prison of Oudaya."

The health of these Sahrawi students, who were arrested on 29 January after participating in protests in Agadir and Marrakech, "has deteriorated and they require hospital treatment," said WSAF.

The organization also expressed "concerns about the status of another hunger striker, Abdul Khaliq al-Markhi, a human rights defender. He is currently serving a four-year sentence in the Moroccan prison of Tiznit," adding that since he "began hunger strike on 1 April, he has reported suffering irritation in his eyes and chest, pain in his head and stomach, nausea, and restricted movement, to the extent that he now requires a wheelchair."

"Despite these serious health problems, it is reported that he is not receiving adequate medical attention," deplored the UK-based organization. (SPS)