3 February 2013

Western Sahara: South African Solidarity Movement Condemns Military Court of Gdeim Izik Detainees

Pretoria — The South African Movement of Solidarity with the Saharawi People condemned, in a memorandum issued on Thursday, the military trial that was planned for Friday against Gdeim izik prisoners, calling Morocco to ensure that no civilians and activists defending human rights are tried in front of the Military Court.

"The South African Movement of Solidarity with the Saharawi People together with all citizens and organizations of our country who appreciate justice, cannot sit idly by while known human right activists are being tried by a Martial Court because they refuse to accept to live in perpetual servitude and endure gross violations of human right and the denial of their right to self-determination," read the memorandum.

They also condemned the military security and the informational blockade imposed in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, and attitude of some international powers that defends human rights in other places and turn a blind eye to violation in Western Sahara.

South African Movement of Solidarity with the Saharawi people reiterated its call upon the Kingdom of Morocco to:

-Take steps to ensure that detainees are fully protected against torture or other ill-treatment;

-Ensure that trials are held in conformity with international standards for fair trials, in particular that no information extracted under torture or duress is used as evidence in trial proceedings;

-Ensure that no civilians and activists defending human rights are tried in front of the Military Court;

-Guarantee that the Moroccan authorities respect public liberties and enable human rights associations and all civil organisations in the region to operate without discrimination of any sort;

-Allow the media, NGOs and international observers full access to the territory;

-Ensure the immediate end of the plundering of natural resources of Western Sahara by Moroccan occupation authorities.

It also called upon the United Nations to:

-Establish a mechanism for monitoring human rights in the territory and to find a democratic solution to the Sahara conflict

-Protect the Saharawi citizens in occupied territories.

It therefore called upon the Africa Union, European Union, African Parliament and all the international community to:

-Exert pressure on the Moroccan State to extend the validity of the UN Mission in the Western Sahara "MINURSO", to release all Saharawi political prisoners and prisoners of war and disclosure of the kidnapped and missing persons.

The movement of solidarity condemned in the strongest terms these acts by the Kingdom of Morocco against the people of Western Sahara, expressing unyielding support and commitment to the realization of freedom and self-determination for the courageous people of the last colony in the Continent of Africa.

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