21 February 2013

Morocco: International Personalities Urge International Community to Speak Out Against Local Military Court's Rulings

London — MPS, diplomats, human rights sympathizers and personalities from UK, Australia, and Switzerland and around the world, have urged the international community to speak out against arbitrary sentences against 25 Saharawi political prisoners by Moroccan military tribunal on Feb16.

"We urge the international community to speak out against these sentences and support our call for independent human rights monitoring in Western Sahara." they wrote in a letter published on Wednesday at the Guardian newspaper.

"The sentencing of 24 Saharawi activists by a Moroccan military tribunal last weekend is a travesty of justice. The defendants, most of whom received sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment, were involved in setting-up the Gdeim Izik protest camp in Western Sahara in 2010,"

"Widely regarded as the first spark of the Arab spring. Amnesty International has described their trial as flawed from the outset, in violation of international standards for fair trials."

"The defendants claim to have been coerced into signing confessions" they said, adding that the military court "appears to have been a politically motivated show trial." calling for new civilian court to the Saharawi political prisoners.

"It should not have been delayed by over two years and allegations of torture should have been fully and independently investigated."

The personalities that signed this appeal are

  • Jeremy Corbyn Chair, all Party Parliamentary Group on Western Sahara
  • Mark Williams MP
  • Cathy Jamieson MP
  • Paul Flynn MP
  • Andy Love MP
  • Katy Clarke MP
  • Kelvin Hopkins MP
  • Ken Loach
  • John Pilger
  • Carne Ross Director, Independent Diplomat
  • John Gurr Co-ordinator, Western Sahara Campaign UK
  • John Hilary Executive director, War on Want
  • Don Pepper Chair, Strategic Conflict Resolution Group
  • Erik Hagen Chair, Western Sahara Resource Watch
  • Johanna Svanelind Students for a Free Western Sahara
  • Danielle Smith Founding director, Sandblast
  • Sidahmad Yadasi Adala UK (Human Rights for Western Sahara)
  • Professor Chrisdtiane Perregaux University of Geneva, Comité Suisse de Soutien au Peuple Sahraoui
  • Dave Green National officer, Fire Brigades Union
  • Tom O'Bryan Western Sahara Action Forum
  • Cate Lewis Australia Western Sahara Association
  • David Stothard Director, Olive Branch Arts


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