European Parliamentarians demand release WS political prisoners
The President of the European Parliament's Intergroup for Western Sahara raised his concern about the situation of the Saharawi political prisoners on hunger strike in Moroccan jails. Read the press release here.
Norbert Neuser, President of the Intergroup for Western Sahara in the European Parliament, raised his grave concern about the situation of the Saharawi political prisoners in hunger strike detained by Morocco. The Saharawi political activists were detained by Morocco in October 2009 and were not put before a judge yet. The Moroccan authorities said they would face a military trial, even though the activists are civilians. Six of the detained started a hunger strike to protest against their illegal detainment mid March.
Norbert Neuser: "The situation of the political prisoners is getting worrisome, after five weeks of hunger strike. Morocco has to act now: either secure a fair civilian trial or set them free! We cannot accept this endless illegal detention by such a close neighbour to the EU!"
The Members of the Intergroup for Western Sahara in the European Parliament also succeeded in putting the issue as an urgency resolution on the agenda of the Parliament. It would have been debated and voted today in the plenary, had the flight problems this week not caused a postponement of all the foreseen votes of the plenary session in Strasbourg.
Norbert Neuser: "Even if we did not formally vote on the urgency of the detained Saharawi activists in hunger strike this week, the message is clear: The European Parliament strongly urges Morocco to release the political prisoners now!"
Africa's last colony
Since 1975, three quarters of the Western Sahara territory has been illegally occupied by Morocco. The original population lives divided between those suffering human rights abuses under the Moroccan occupation and those living in exile in Algerian refugee camps. For more than 40 years, the Saharawi await the fulfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.