9 Apr 2013

Action on Western Sahara - please help!

In his strongest ever statement on Western Sahara, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has recognised the need for human rights monitoring in the Territory. In a copy of the UN Secretary General's 2013 report on the situation in Western Sahara obtained by Reuters, the top UN official acknowledged 'ongoing reports of human rights violations' and cites the 'ever-pressing need for independent, impartial, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of the human rights situations in both Western Sahara and the camps.'

Please join Western Sahara Action Forum in emailing to demand that the UN lives up to its legal and moral responsibilities and monitors human rights violations in Western Sahara. Below is some suggested text - please personalise and send individually or BCC to all email addresses.

Contact details:
Hon. Ambassador Susan E. Rice (US), USUNPublicAffairs@state.gov
H.E. Sir Mark Lyall Grant (UK) UK@UN.int
H.E. Mr. Fernando Arias (Spain) Rep.nuevayorkonu@maec.es
H.E. GĂ©rard Araud (France) france@franceonu.org
H.E. Mr Vitaly Churkin(Russia) politdesk-rusun@un.int
H.E. Mr Eugene-Richard Gasana (Rwanda, and Security Council President) ambanewyork@minaffet.gov.rw

Hon. Ambassador,

I welcome the UN Secretary General’s recognition of the need for ‘independent, impartial, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of the human rights situations in both Western Sahara and the camps’. Please ensure this is included within the upcoming resolution on Western Sahara.

Human rights violations against Saharawi who question the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara are commonplace.  This was recently confirmed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez’ who reported torture, ill treatment, excessive force and kidnappings used to intimidate protestors. The Secretary General’s comments strengthen the calls of numerous human rights organisations, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Mr Mendez who recommended a ‘robust regional inter-governmental human rights monitoring mechanism’ in the Territory.

The language on human rights included in the 2011 resolution completely failed to provide an understanding of the torture and ill-treatment including rape, beatings, extreme violence and arbitrary arrest and detention regularly reported in Western Sahara. The Security Council must not permit Morocco to maintain its illegal occupation though a strategy of violence and terror. The people of Western Sahara urgently need permanent, independent human rights monitoring that reports directly to the UN Security Council.  This is essential to gain a transparent and comprehensive understanding of human rights in the Territory.

Please fulfil your duty to the people of Western Sahara and ensure this is included in the upcoming resolution.

Yours sincerely,

You can email info@wsaforum.org to be added to their mailing list.

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