Governments, multinationals called upon to cease illegal activities in occupied Western Sahara

Geneva, July 15, 2020 (SPS) - A group of international human rights organizations warned governments and multinational companies that by pursuing their economic activities in the occupied Sahrawi territories they support Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara and greatly affect the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination. 

In a statement addressed to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the organizations recalled that the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution on "Economic and other activities affecting the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories," had expressed its concern about all those activities aimed at exploiting natural resources to the detriment of the interests of the inhabitants of those regions.

Based on this principle, the organizations stressed the need to "avoid any economic or other activities negatively affecting the interests of the Saharawi people," calling on "all governments to take the necessary measures in this regard in order to put an end to the illegal actions of companies that cause serious damage to the Saharawi people."

The statement also highlighted other decisions that ruled on the illegitimacy of such actions in occupied territories such as Western Sahara, the most recent of which was the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which ruled in February 2018 that the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement is not applicable to Western Sahara. [/ecr] SPS