23 February 2013

Western Sahara: EU Parliament Condemns Unjust Verdict Against Saharawi Activists - Declaration

Strasbourg — A group of the Social Democrats in the European Parliament condemns "forcefully" the heavy sentences handed down by the Moroccan military court of Rabat against the Sahrawi human rights activists, according to a statement released Thursday.

The group expressed its deep concern over the sentencing by Moroccan military court of a group of Saharawi human rights activists, calling on Morocco to respect the basic rights of the Saharawis, including the right to assembly and freedom of expression.

"We cannot accept such gross violations of human rights in neighboring countries of Europe as Morocco," reads the statement.

It should be recalled that the group was arrested on 8 November 2010, following the Moroccan forces' attack on thousands of Saharawi civilians who were peacefully protesting at Gdim Izik camp, near the occupied city of El Aaiun.

On 16 February 2013, 9 of the group were sentenced to life imprisonment, 4 to 30-year prison term, 7 to 25-year term and 3 others to 20year.

The Socialist Group of the European Parliament is the largest political group in the institution. It consists of 199 parliamentarians from all countries of the European Union.

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