WSHRW petition before the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly | WSHRW
Special Political Commission for Decolonization (4th Commission)
New York, October, 2015
Western Sahara is the touchstone of the credibility of the
1. Western Sahara is a colonial country whose administering power is Spain.
The United Nations asked the administering Power, Spain, to
decolonize the territory.
Spain did not fulfill its duty and now most of the territory is
occupied by Morocco.
The question of Western Sahara is a decolonization conflict and
is the responsibility of the United Nations.
The solution to this conflict is the self-determination of the territory:
either by granting independence or by
holding a self-determination referendum. This has been
confirmed by the International Court of Justice in its
advisory opinion on Western Sahara.
2. In its 2006 Mission to Western Sahara Report, the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights clearly stated that:
“The right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara
must be assured and put into practice without any further delay (…)
Almost all human rights violations and concerns about
the people of Western Sahara (…) originate from the lack of of putting
this fundamental human right into practice ”.
3. The facts confirm, year after year, that what this Report said is true:
3.A. Civil and political rights are being systematically violated.
The number of Sahrawi political prisoners
dying in Moroccan prisons is increasing alarmingly . This year four
more prisoners have been added to this blacklist: Abdul Baqi Alien Antahah, Abdel Hai
Chebh, Mohamed el Burhimi and Bubakar Argun.
Civilian political prisoners from the “Akdeim Izik” group (some
sentenced to life imprisonment) remain in jail even though all their
sentences were handed down by a military court in a process where
all basic human rights were violated. The Kingdom of
Morocco must release or subject to a new trial with all
guarantees the civilian prisoners of “Akdeim Izik who were
sentenced by a military court in a trial without guarantees.
Even more serious: at this time, October 2015, Morocco still does not
investigate and convict the perpetrators of the deaths of the
Sahrawi victims of Moroccan violence that actually existed in
those tragic events that occurred in November 2010: the child
Nayam El-Garhi , and the adults Jadiyetu Ebhaia and Baby Hamday.
3.B. Economic rights continue to be systematically violated.
In the part of Western Sahara it occupies, Morocco continues to
extract phosphates from the rich Bu Craa mine in
Western Sahara . Morocco, alone or with the complicity of the European Union and
European private businessmen, exploits the fishing of the
Saharawi waters under its control.
The exploitation of phosphate and fishing is done without taking into account the
interests and wishes of the local population.
3.C. Social and cultural rights continue to be systematically
violated. In the part of Western Sahara that it occupies:
Morocco continues to prohibit the use of jaimas, the symbol of the
indigenous Saharawi culture .
Morocco continues to destroy and prohibit the “Msalas” (
traditional open-air oratories ) in violation of article 18 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to subject the
Saharawi population to the authority of the official religious leaders
of Morocco in official premises Moroccans.
Morocco buries victims of violence, such as Mohamed Lamin
Haidala, without family consent
4. The conflict in Western Sahara has lasted too long, but this
can not be an excuse for the United Nations to evade its
responsibility established in Article 73 of the Charter and in its
We request that the General Assembly resolution require that the
Secretary General and the Security Council draw up a road map
to end colonization, respect the right to
self-determination and other human rights.
This roadmap should address as urgently
as possible at least the following issues:
-The destruction of the wall (berm) that divides the Territory and the
millions of anti-person mines around it.
-The establishment of a permanent United Nations mechanism
on the ground to monitor and enforce human rights in
-The demand for the immediate holding of the
self – determination referendum, setting a date for it.
– The provision that in the event of the refusal of the Kingdom of Morocco to
comply with its international obligations allowing the
referendum of self-determination, the General Assembly will examine the
entry of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as an
observer member of the United Nations, following the precedent of
Every day that passes without holding the self-determination referendum is
a day when the United Nations loses credibility.