28 October 2012

Morocco: Committee Against Torture Deeply Concerned Over State of Human Rights in Western Sahara

New York — The Committee Against Torture of the United Nations has expressed strong concern over the state of human rights in occupied Western Sahara, including the continued torture against pro-independence Saharawis.

In its annual report submitted to the 67 th session of the UN General Assembly, the Committee recorded cases of arrests as well as arbitrary and individual detention in secret places, acts of torture and ill-treatment, extracting confessions under torture and excessive use of force by Moroccan security forces.

The report, which also submitted to the UN Third Committee, underlined that it is not permissible under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to invoke any exceptional circumstances whatsoever to justify torture in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

It also voiced concern over the circumstances that accompanied the dismantling of Gdeim Izik camps on November 2010, where many people were killed during the evacuation process and several others were arrested.

The Committee expressed deep concern for bringing Saharawi civilians to a Moroccan military trail, and not to open any impartial and effective investigation to shed light on Gdeim izik events to account those responsible from Moroccan forces.

It therefore called on Morocco to conduct, as soon as possible, impartial, fair and effective investigations on the acts of violence and cases of death that accompanied Gdeim Izik camp's dismantling.

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