British and international associations demand human rights monitoring in Western Sahara

London, April 19, 2014 (SPS) -  British and international associations active in the field of human rights demanded Thursday that the British government to press in the United Nations Security Council for monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara, in a letter published on the site of the famous British newspaper, The Guardian.

The associations considered in their letter that the United Nations secretary general's 2014 report on Western Sahara calls for "sustained, independent and impartial monitoring of human rights" in the region, but "despite reports of torture and violence systematically used by Morocco to repress the Saharawi poeple, the UK, US, and France remain reluctant to allow this,"they added.

The letter considered that "this week the drafting of a UN resolution on Western Sahara begins and there will be an opportunity to mandate the UN peacekeeping mission there actively to monitor human rights violations, " adding that "monitoring is vital because it will act as a strong deterrent."  

The Signatories called in particular on Britain stressing that  "it is time for the UK to put its commitment to human rights into practice and press for monitoring in the UN security council, instead of bowing to Moroccan pressure and staying silent."

The letter was signed by Andrew Noakes Western Sahara Action Forum, John Gurr Western Sahara Campaign, John Hilary War on Want, Joanna Allan Western Sahara Resource Watch. (SPS)