17 French ONGs urges Hollande to support respect for human rights in Western Sahara

Paris, April 22, 2015 (SPS) - Seventeen French non-governmental organizations has called on President Francois Hollande to work so that the monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara is included in the mandate of MINURSO, like other UN peacekeeping missions in the world.
In an open letter to French President, the ONGs said the peaceful demonstrations organized by Saharawi population “are violently repressed,” adding that many Saharawi activists are being arrested and convicted in unfair trials.
The letter went on saying that torture and inhuman treatment continues to take place in Western Sahara, highlighting that the freedoms of expression, association, information and expression “are still not respected.”
They indicated that foreign observers and journalists are regularly expelled from the occupied territories of Western Sahara, noting that there are currently 22 Saharawi prisoners known as Gdeim Izik Group, who were sentenced to long prison terms by a military court.
The letter stated that the inclusion of human rights component within MINURSO mandate will not only enable the Security Council to receive reliable and timely information on an unstable situation, but also to invalidate the propaganda aiming at thwarting the search for a political solution to the conflict. (SPS)