23 August 2012

Morocco: Polisario Front Says Visit of RFK Center Will Be a Tsetimony of the Situation Is Western Sahara

Algiers — The Polisario Front representative to the United Nations, Ahmed Bukhari said on Wednesday that the visit by the President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), Kerry Kennedy, to the Saharawi refugee camps and Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, is an other testimony to the situation of the violation of human rights by Morocco.

Speaking to Radio Algeria International, Bukhari said that this visit will be a historical event by including important personalities in charge of human rights and with great history in this field.

The Polisario representative to the UN stressed the importance of this visit which comes at a time when the issue of human rights in Western Sahara has been much discussed in the Security Council.

Bukhari described the visit as a "major" because it comes at a time when Morocco blocks the negotiations to reach a political solution, just and lasting solution to the conflict in Western Sahara through the self-determination referendum for the Saharawi people.

"This visit of Kerry Kennedy will be an important witness not only for the Centre but also for the U.S. administration and the United Nations," said Bukhari, who expressed the satisfaction of the Sahrawi authorities about this visit.

The objective of the visit is to assess the human rights situation on the ground, said statement of RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

"Our delegation will seek to assess the human rights situation on the ground by speaking to human rights defenders, government authorities, and ordinary families split apart by this conflict," said Kerry Kennedy. "We hope to raise attention to this issue and support the establishment of a human rights mandate for the UN Mission."

Members of the delegation include: Mary Lawlor, Director, Front Line Defenders; Margarette May Macaulay, Judge of the Inter American Court of Human Rights; Eric Sottas, former Secretary-General, World Organization Against Torture; Maria del Río, Board of Trustees of the Jose Saramago Foundation; and Marialina Marcucci, President of the RFK Center - Europe. RFK Partners for Human Rights Director Santiago A. Canton, Advocacy Director Marselha Gonçalves Margerin, and Advocacy Associate Stephanie Postar will accompany the delegation. The RFK Center will prepare a report, including observations from delegation members, after the trip concludes, according to the same source.

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