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News Archive 2009
News Archive 2008

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Guinness World Records challenged over Moroccan flag stunt

“Had Saddam flown a giant flag over Kuwait would Guinness have sent a judge to measure it?”
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Campaigners today have dismissed the unfurling of the world's biggest flag in occupied Western Sahara as a political stunt by Morocco and demanded that Guinness World Records strip them of the record which they were awarded on 9 May. The giant 20 tonne, 60,000 square metre Moroccan standard was laid out in Dakhla, Western Sahara and Guinness World Records sent a judge to authenticate the record. But campaigners from Europe, America and Australasia have pointed out that Western Sahara is classified by the United Nations as a non-self-governing territory and that Moroccan claims to sovereignty over the country have been dismissed by the International Court of Justice and have not been recognised by a single nation.

Last week Guinness World Records were contacted by campaigners who said that by authenticating the record they were legitimising the unlawful occupation of Western Sahara and requested that the record be rescinded. A spokesperson for Guinness responded stating that “our task is to measure, count, monitor all world records. We are not in a position to comment on the political nature of things - we simply document the world around us.”

Stefan Simanowitz, Chair of the Free Western Sahara Network, said today:

“Under international law, the situation of Western Sahara is unambiguous. Morocco does not have sovereignty over the territory. The UN has passed over a hundred Resolutions reaffirming the inalienable right of the Western Saharan people to self-determination. If Saddam Hussein had unfurled a giant Iraqi flag in Kuwait in 1990 I am confident Guinness would not have flown out a judge to measure it. By sending a judge to authenticate a record attempt that has clear political overtones, Guinness cannot claim to be non-political. By authenticating this record they are effectively legitimising an illegitimate occupation and we ask that the record be rescinded.”

This press release is issued by:

Free Western Sahara Network -

Western Sahara Campaign Uk -

Australia Western Sahara Association –

Western Sahara Resource Watch - www.wsrw. org



15.02 - 2016 / 15.02 - 2016Hunger striking to demand education
13.02 - 2014 / 13.02 - 2014Saharawi journalists jailed for covering protests and plunder
14.11 - 2013 / 14.11 - 2013Morocco hinders Saharawi activist's vital surgery
19.09 - 2013 / 19.09 - 2013Mass Grave Revealed in Western Sahara
31.05 - 2013 / 31.05 - 2013Dutch vessel transporting resources from occupied Western Sahara
10.03 - 2011 / 10.03 - 2011Parties Conclude Another Round of Talks
25.02 - 2011 / 25.02 - 2011Hungering for justice: Saharawi political prisoners on hunger strike
11.02 - 2011 / 11.02 - 2011Take Action for Human Rights Monitoring in Western Sahara
11.02 - 2011 / 11.02 - 2011Germany indicts alleged Moroccan spy
19.12 - 2010 / 19.12 - 2010So much for human rights
27.05 - 2010 / 27.05 - 2010Amnesty International's annual report: Morocco / Western Sahara
18.05 - 2010 / 18.05 - 2010Moroccan court bails three Western Sahara activists
17.05 - 2010 / 17.05 - 2010Guinness World Records challenged over Moroccan flag stunt
08.05 - 2010 / 08.05 - 2010Beware the Warnings of al Qaeda
06.05 - 2010 / 06.05 - 2010The arms sellers countries extend the conflict in Western Sahara
05.05 - 2010 / 05.05 - 2010Fate abducted Saharawi citizen still unknown
29.04 - 2010 / 29.04 - 2010Second Tier Titans clash on Human Rights in Western Sahara
28.04 - 2010 / 28.04 - 2010France opposing Security Council on Human Rights
27.04 - 2010 / 27.04 - 2010Spain in favour of human rights monitoring in Western Sahara?
22.04 - 2010 / 22.04 - 2010European Parliamentarians demand release WS political prisoners

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.
Trailer: Western Sahara, Africa's last colony


Have a look at this teaser for the upcoming documentary "Western Sahara, Africa's last colony". Coming soon.
Book: International Law and the Question of Western Sahara


To our knowledge the first collective book on the legal aspects of the Western Sahara conflict. Available in English and French.