STATEMENT WSHRW: Moroccan military court verdict in the Saharawi Akdeim Izik “trial”

févr. 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Nouvelles

Western Sahara Human Rights WatchWestern Sahara Human Rights Watch, after knowing the ruling by the Permanent Court of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces imposed in the trial against a group of Saharawi who participated in the protest camp organized in « Akdeim Izik », hereby declares:

1. The Western Sahara’s Moroccan occupation authorities  violated on November 8, 2010 the Saharawi’s right to demonstrate peacefully in their own country.   The Moroccan armed forces were those who first prevented more Saharawi from freely joining the Akdeim Izik demonstration and then they razed the protest camp that was taking place in an entirely peaceful manner.

2. The Western Sahara’s Moroccan occupation authorities did not provide the identities of the alleged Moroccan « victims » allegedly « killed » after the violent destruction of the Saharawi peaceful protest camp.

3. The Western Sahara’s Moroccan occupation authorities gave no information about how each one of the alleged Moroccan « victims » had been allegedly « killed » after the violent destruction of the Saharawi peaceful protest camp.

4. The Western Sahara’s Moroccan occupation authorities did not conduct the autopsies of the alleged Moroccan « victims » allegedly « killed » after the violent destruction of the Saharawi peaceful protest camp.

5. The use of military jurisdiction to try the civilians accused of these alleged « killings » contradict the principles of a fair trial accepted in civilised countries.

6. The continuing detention of Saharawi prisoners in a prison in the territory of Morocco and not in the territory, from which the prisoners originally came, Western Sahara, violates the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to civilian victims of armed conflicts, applicable to Western Sahara territory occupied by the Moroccan Army.

7. The holding of a trial by a Moroccan military court in the territory of Morocco and not in the territory, from which the prisoners originally came, Western Sahara, constitutes a further violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

8. The way of appointing the judges of the Permanent Court of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (« Tribunal Permanente de las Fuerzas Reales de Marruecos ») does not meet the minimum standards of a State governed by the rule of law.

9. The process against the 24 Saharawi prisoners accused by the Permanent Court of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (« Tribunal Permanente de las Fuerzas Reales de Marruecos ») violates the right to a fair trial:

– The prosecution evidence underpinning the imposition of severe custodial sentences to the defendants (a series of bladed weapons and mobile phones) lacked the minimum validity of evidence in compliance with the minimum standards of the rule of law, as there was no evidence that connected said bladed weapons with the defendants. 

– The prosecution evidence underpinning the imposition of severe custodial sentences to the defendants completely lacks a « chain of custody » which is essential according to the minimum standards of the rule of law to ensure a fair trial.

– The court has refused to carry out investigations on the complaints of torture made by the defendants. 

– There is no evidence that the alleged bladed weapons regarded as evidence, the reliability of which is not guaranteed by a chain of custody, have been used by the defendants to commit the alleged « murders » with regard to some alleged dead bodies which have not been autopsied.

10. It is a flagrant violation of the right to self-defence to pretend that some Saharawi citizens demonstrating peacefully in their own country cannot confront an armed action that destroyed their property and attacked their physical integrity.

Due to the above stated, Western Sahara Human Rights Watch considers that the judgement rendered on February 17, 2013 by the Permanent Court of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (« Tribunal Permanente de las Fuerzas Reales de Marruecos »), sentencing 24 Saharawi citizens constitutes the most scandalous denial of the Saharawi citizens’ human rights recognised by the international conventions to which the Moroccan State is party. 

 

 

    Comments are closed.