2 Mar 2013

Letter to MP re Western Sahara

Copy of letter sent earlier this week to our MP....

Dear Mr Carmichael,

I write with concerns about Western Sahara. The United Nations is legally obliged to protect human rights in Western Sahara. Yet MINURSO is the only UN peacekeeping mission without the mandate to monitor human rights violation - and all the evidence suggests that current efforts to tackle the issue have proved wholly inadequate, with human rights violations worsening.

Any human rights monitoring body in the Western Sahara must be based on the three following principles:

-Permanence – ad hoc missions cannot establish an adequately accurate picture of the nature of the violations across the entire territory
-Reciprocity – any human rights monitoring body must have access to refugee camps administered by POLISARIO, as well as the area occupied by Morocco
-Accountability – any human rights monitoring presence must be obliged to report findings to the UN Security Council 

I urge you to join your party colleagues in signing EDM 1113 (see below).

Yours sincerely, Philip Booth

That this House notes the concerns raised by Amnesty International and other organisations over the trial and sentencing of 24 civilian Saharawi human rights activists by a military tribunal; further notes the increasing human rights abuses in the Western Sahara; acknowledges the need for Minurso to be given a human rights monitoring mandate and calls on the Government, to make representation to the Moroccan Government to revoke the politically motivated and unjust sentences against the 24 Saharawi human rights activists, to release all Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan jails and to allow access to the Saharawi territories under Morocco’s occupation by independent observers and international media.

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