28 February 2013

Western Sahara: 'Ireland Has Consistently Called for the Mandate of Minurso to Include a Human Rights Monitoring Element.' Says Irish Foreign Minister

"Ireland has consistently called for the mandate of MINURSO, the United Nations Mission in Western Sahara monitoring the ceasefire with Western Sahara, to include a human rights monitoring element." said last Tuesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Eamon Gilmore.

"We believe this would provide invaluable independent and impartial information on the status of human rights in Western Sahara," he added.

This position of Ireland was explained on Tuesday26th, in a written reply to a question by the member of the Irish Parliament Maureen O'Sullivan, if the Minister will make representations to the Moroccan authorities to use civilian courts to ensure fair retrials for 25 Saharawi political prisoners given long prison sentences by Moroccan military court.

"I share the Deputy's concern regarding this case and my officials will continue to closely monitor the situation and the process regarding the appeal of the sentences." the Minister stated.

"The Government will continue to raise concerns about human rights abuses in Western Sahara, in particular reports of the arbitrary arrest, detention and mistreatment of human rights defenders, with Morocco in our ongoing bilateral dialogue." Eamon Gilmore concluded.


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