Congressman Pitts Calls on Clinton Foundation to turn down donation

Washington, April 11, 2015 (SPS) — Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) is calling on the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative to turn down a donation reportedly given by a Moroccan-based company that is exploiting resources in Western Sahara.

According to a recent Politico story, Moroccan phosphate exporter OCP is donating $1 million to a Clinton Global Initiative meeting set to take place in Marrakech from May 5-7. OCP operates mines in the illegally occupied Western Sahara by Morocco.

“For over a decade, the Moroccan government has denied Western Sahara a UN-mandated vote to determine the status of the territory,” said Pitts in a letter sent Friday to the Clinton Foundation.

“For even longer, there has been a pattern of human rights violations against the Sahrawi people by the government of Morocco.”

“Now, the Clinton Global Initiative is taking money from a company that is actively exploiting resources in Western Sahara. I’m calling on the Clintons to return this money and stand up for the people living in the camps. They deserve justice.”

Congressman Pitts has worked for many years to highlight the abuses in Western Sahara and has personally traveled to the camps in Algeria.

Congressman Pitts, along with Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), wrote a letter to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Pitts is the current co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and Smith leads the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. (SPS)