Sahara Press Service (El Aaiun)

3 November 2012

Western Sahara: Increased Police Presence, Repression and Assault On Saharawi Civilians in Occupied El Aaiun

Washington — The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) has received multiple reports in the last week that indicate dramatically increased police presence, repression, and assault against civilians in El Ayun coinciding with Ambassador Christopher Ross's arrival in the area, announced Friday the Centre.

The Centre pointed out that the Saharawi rights activist Ms. Aminatou Haidar was attacked on Thursday by Moroccan police after her meeting with the UN Personal Envoy Christopher Ross at MINURSO headquarters in occupied El Aaiun.

"The fact that this violence against the Sahrawi didn't just continue but actually increased during Ambassador Ross's visit demonstrates how vital it is to build a global conversation about the plight of the Sahrawi. The Moroccan government believes that the international community will not hold them accountable for these continued human rights violations. We have to prove them wrong," said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center.

"It's unacceptable that in spite of the overwhelming evidence of violence against the Sahrawi people, the international community and the UN are still refusing to include a human rights mandate in the peacekeeping mission," said the RFK Partners for Human Rights Director Santiago Canton.

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