Frente POLISARIO denounces expulsion of Basque MPs from occupied Western Sahara by Moroccan authorities

New York (UN), 2 November 2019 (SPS) - The Frente POLISARIO has condemned the expulsion of four members of the regional Parliament of the Basque Country in Spain from Western Sahara by the Moroccan authorities of occupation.

Ms Eva Juez, Mr Carmelo Barrio, Mr Iñigo Martínez and Mr Josu Estarrona on Sunday were expelled upon their arrival at the airport of El Aaiún, the capital of the occupied Western Sahara. The group intended to see first-hand the situation of human rights in the Territory and to meet Sahrawi human rights and civil society activists.

In a letter addressed to Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, President of the Security Council, H.E. Ambassador Kelly Craft, Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations, Dr Sidi M. Omar, said “I would like to bring to your attention and that of the Members of the Security Council our strong condemnation of this unlawful action, which is another episode of Morocco’s continued attempts to keep the occupied territories of Western Sahara off limits to international observers and foreign journalists.”

“Morocco’s repeated expulsions of international observers and media from the occupied Western Sahara share a common objective, which is none other than to hide the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Moroccan occupying forces against Sahrawi civilians.”

“It is unacceptable that the Moroccan authorities of occupation continue to deny access to the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara, which remains under the responsibility of the United Nations pending a definitive solution to the conflict,” he added.

The following is the full text of the Frente POLISARIO's letter to the Security Council regarding the expulsion of the Spanish parliamentarians:

“H.E. Ambassador Kelly Craft

Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations

President of the Security Council

New York, 1 December 2019

Excellency,

I am writing to report that, on Sunday 1 December 2019, the Moroccan authorities of occupation in Western Sahara expelled four members of the regional Parliament of the Basque Country in Spain. Ms Eva Juez, Mr Carmelo Barrio, Mr Iñigo Martínez and Mr Josu Estarrona were expelled upon their arrival at the airport of El Aaiún, the capital of the occupied Western Sahara. The group intended to see first-hand the situation of human rights in the Territory and to meet Sahrawi human rights and civil society activists.

I would like to bring to your attention and that of the Members of the Security Council our strong condemnation of this unlawful action, which is another episode of Morocco’s continued attempts to keep the occupied territories of Western Sahara off limits to international observers and foreign journalists. Morocco’s repeated expulsions of international observers and media from the occupied Western Sahara share a common objective, which is none other than to hide the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Moroccan occupying forces against Sahrawi civilians. It is unacceptable that the Moroccan authorities of occupation continue to deny access to the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara, which remains under the responsibility of the United Nations pending a definitive solution to the conflict.

What makes the situation even more alarming is that all the repressive and terrorising practices pursued systematically by the Moroccan occupying forces against Sahrawi civilians take place under complete media blackout imposed on the occupied Western Sahara. Sahrawi journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders covering human rights violations in the Territory (Secretary-General report S/2019/787 of 2 October 2019, paragraph 68) are persecuted and detained unjustly.

The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly insisted that impartial, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of the human rights situation is necessary to ensure the protection of all people in Western Sahara. It is therefore imperative that the Security Council exert the necessary pressure on Morocco to ensure that UN human rights monitors and international observers gain full, unfettered and continuous access to the occupied Western Sahara, and that they can report freely and openly about human rights in the Territory.

The United Nations has a legal and moral responsibility to exert its utmost efforts to ensure the protection of human rights in the occupied Western Sahara pending the accomplishment of the decolonisation of the Territory in line with relevant UN resolutions. 

I would be most grateful if you would bring the present letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.                 

Dr Sidi M. Omar

Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations” (SPS)

062/SPS