Morocco wants to silence Saharawi media activists and France is shamelessly supporting the occupation (Saharawi Diplomat to Australian 3CR Radio)

Melbourne (Australia), July  18, 2019  (SPS) – the  POLISARIO Frente’s Representative to Australia and New Zealand, Mr. kamal Fadel, accused Morocco of committing serious human rights abuses against Saharawi activists, including bloggers and journalists like Mrs. Nezha Khalidi, and deplores the fact that France is still supporting Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara against all odds.

Speaking to Australian Radio journalist, Jan Bartlett, whose programme has been on air since 1980, Mr. Kamal informed the Australian audience about the decision of the Moroccan colonial court against Saharawi blogger and journalists, Mrs. Nezha Khalidi, who was recently sentenced to pay a 400 Euros fine, for reporting and exposing Moroccan authorities abuses and violations against peaceful Saharawi demonstrators in the occupied zones of Western Sahara.

The Moroccan Court, Kamal says, “is not a normal court like any court in Australia for example. This is the Moroccan legal system, which is not known for its transparency or fairness. The Moroccan judge is just implementing instructions that he is getting from the Moroccan political system, the Makhzen, and the aim is to threaten, silence and oppress Saharawis, and he decided to fine Nezha to 400 euros, when he couldn’t find anything wrong to accuse her about.”

He stated that the Moroccan court was forced to adopt this sentence and not to put the journalist in jail because of the international pressures from human rights organizations and Media.

Kamal went on saying that “the Moroccans were a bit careful in this case, but we cannot rule out that they might do something else to her in the future, such as arresting her, or torturing her, or do anything else bad to her. So, the sentence was a light decision because of the international pressure for now.”

The Saharawi diplomat stressed that the Moroccan government doesn’t have sovereignty over Western Sahara and is illegally occupying the territory, therefore,  it shouldn’t even have arrested Nezha or tried her before a colonial court for nothing in the end.

“Morocco has no rights to be in Western Sahara and has no rights to try saharawis in Moroccan courts. We don’t recognize, nor does Nezha or any other Saharawi, the Moroccan legal system. It shouldn’t be there. This is a basic thing the Moroccan presence is illegal and it should not try people,” Kamal says.

Talking about Saharawi media group, Equipe Media, Kamal confirmed that it is targeted, like all other Saharawi journalists, “because the Moroccan regime doesn’t want anyone to talk about the issue. The main strategy of Morocco is to keep Western Sahara out of sights out of minds, forgotten, with the hope that with time the international community will forget about it and that the Saharawis will get tired,” of the struggle.

The Moroccan plan, according to Kamal, is to keep the issue out of the international public opinion radar, this is why “Morocco doesn’t let the independent observers or Media to come in the territory, that’s why it doesn’t tolerate any Saharawi reporting on the abuses or on the demonstrations organized by Saharawis. Equipe Media is an organization that the Moroccans do hate and they will target it all the time.”

The Saharawi diplomat said that the case of Western Sahara is simple cases of decolonization that can be resolved once the international community is determined to pressure Morocco enable the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination, as it did in East Timor for example.

He deplored the shameful position of France, which is still supporting Morocco in this aggression against Western Sahara, making bad use of its membership in the UN Security Council.

“What is happening in Western Sahara is a sort of genocide that has been going on for 44 years so far. Unfortunately, the international community is not treating this issue seriously and is not doing much about it,” Kamal believes.

“It is a very simple issue that can be resolved with a little bit of pressure on Morocco. But because there are no immediate interests of certain powers in the area, and because of the support Morocco is getting from France for example, this tragedy continues,” he adds.

Kamal considered that “France is not using its chair in the UN Security Council wisely or fairly. It is using it to support Morocco, which is an absolute Monarchy, abuses human rights, violated the international law, yet the French who all the time remind us that their country respects human rights, international law is doing the contrary here in this case. France is defending a regime that killed innocent people, imprisoned them, invaded other people’s land and used aggression and war for that. France is committing a really terrible thing in Western Sahara. Still, they are getting away with it.”

He finally considered that It is time that the decolonization conflict in Western Sahara is resolved before another war starts in the region. SPS