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News Archive 2009
News Archive 2008

The Solidarity Group is member of:

Worldwide appeal for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
Over 100 organisations and high profile individuals, including Frank Ruddy, former Deputy Chairman of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), have signed an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon calling for human rights monitoring to be included in MINURSO's mandate. Other signatories include organisations such as Frontline Defenders, trade unions, Belgian MEPs Frieda Brepoels and Bart Staes and Film Director Ken Loach. Read on to see the letter and the list of signatories in full.
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Public letter to Ban Ki Moon

The Honourable Ban Ki-Moon    
Secretary General
760 United Nations Plaza
United Nations
New York, NY 10017

Dear Secretary General,  

We, the undersigned, thank you for your efforts that allowed Saharawi human rights defender Aminatou Haidar to return to her home and her children after she was refused entry to her homeland by the Moroccan authorities.  We are delighted that for once in the case of Western Sahara, justice and international law have prevailed.

But we know that this is not the end to the human rights abuse directed at those who oppose the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.  Aminatou is only one of many victims of human rights violations. Other human rights defenders remain prisoners of conscience held in inhumane conditions and subject to abuse of international human rights, whilst others live under constant fear of arbitrary arrest and torture.

MINURSO is the only contemporary UN peacekeeping mission without a mandate to monitor human rights.  The evidence for its need cannot now be ignored.  It is necessary to extend the remit of MINURSO to include the monitoring of human rights.

We believe that without this extension of mandate, the Saharawi people will be unable to vote in a free and fair referendum of self-determination as is their right under international law.

We call for the monitoring of human rights to become part of MINURSO’s mandate when it is reviewed in April so that the United Nations can fulfil its obligations to arrange the referendum on self-determination to finally resolve the conflict over Western Sahara.

Yours sincerely

Frank Ruddy, U.S. Ambassador (ret.), Former Deputy Chairman, United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)

Trade Union Congress (TUC) UK

Simon Dubbins, Unite (UK)

Ken Loach, Film Director (UK)

Mark Thomas, Comedian (UK)

War on Want (UK)

Frieda Brepoels MEP (Belgium)

Guido Milana MEP (Italia)

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (UK)

Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB (UK)

Bart Staes MEP (Belgium)

Graham Bennett, Director, One World Action (UK)

Emira Woods, Co-Director, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies (US)

Carne Ross – Director, Independent Diplomat

Frontline Defenders

Bill Bowring – President, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights

Glenda Jackson MP (UK)

Lord Redesdale (UK)

Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate 2008, President, Defense ForumFoundation (US)

Michael Beer, Representative Human Rights Action Center (US)

Angus Robertson MP, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Scottish National Party

Western Sahara Campaign UK

Stefan Simonowitz, Chair, Free Western Sahara Network

Western Sahara Resource Watch

International Platform of Jurists for East Timor

Izquierda unida de Aragón

Derek Vaughan MEP (UK)

Dr Caroline Lucas MEP (UK)

Edward Peck, U.S. Ambassador (ret.), Former Ambassador to Mauritania
President, Foreign Services International

Gare Smith, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, Department of State (US)

Michael Cashman MEP (UK)

David Drew MP (UK)

Colectivo de Solidaridad por la Justicia y Dignidad de los Pueblos. Coliche (España)

MRAP, Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l'Amitié entre les Peuples (France)

Associació Catalana per a la Defensa dels Drets Humans (España)

Hywel Williams MP (UK)

Willy Meyer, MEP, eurodiputado de Izquierda Unida  (España)

Salah Eddine Amaidan, Président APSO Avignon (France)

Carlos Wilson, Executive Director, US-Western Sahara Foundation

Helena Laukko, UN Association, Finland

Nina May, Founder and Chairman, Renaissance Foundation (US)

Women Living Under Muslim Laws – International Solidarity Network (WLUML)

Jill Evans MEP (UK)

Stephen Thomas, United Nations Association, Wales

Linda Fabiani, MSP

Lyn Allison, President, Australia Western Sahara Association

Danielle Smith, Director, Sandblast (UK)

Thomas Schmidt – Secretary General, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Liz Davies – Chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Konstantina Isidoros, Doctoral Researcher (social anthropology of Western Sahara), University of Oxford, (UK)

Pedro Pinto Leite, International Jurist, Leiden, the Netherlands

Teresa K.E. Smith de Cherif, M.D. M.I.A. Medical Director, Sahara Fund Medical Missions to Tifariti, Western Sahara Sahara Fund, Inc, (US)

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics & International Studies Chair, Middle Eastern Studies Program, University of San Francisco

Paul Balta, Writer and Journalist  (France)

APSO, Amis du Peuple du Sahara Occidental, (France)

Western Sahara Association of Japan

Francesc Verdugo Ibarz, President de l' associació, Projecte Tibsima Mollet Sàhara per a Infants Sahrauís Discapacitats

Swedish Western Sahara Action

Janet Lenz, International Liaison, Board of Directors, Not Forgotten International, Inc.

Ronny Hansen,Chair, Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara

David Lippiatt, International Executive Director, We International (US)

Foundation 'Africa Another Way' (Polska)

Nancy Purcell, Executive Director, 318 Partners Mission (US)

Steve Hagens, Executive Director, Homeland International (US)

Associació Catalana d'Amics del Poble Sahrauí

Henry Song, Board of Directors, PSALT (US)

Javier Trincado González.Plataforma de Apoyo Político al Pueblo Saharaui (PAPPS)

Asociación de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Santurtzi, AMAL

M Mercè Rovira Regàs, Ajuntament & Universitat de Girona

Enrique Santiago Romero,Secretario de Derechos Humanos del Partido Comunista de España

Partido Comunista de España

Marcia Woodward Director, English Project 27th of February Camp

ACAPS, Associació Catalana d’Amics del Poble Sahrauí, España

Olaia Sagredo, Iesbaa

Taleb Gachbar, Président, OF2PS (France)

Djemilla Bendriss, Présidente, Enfants de la Méditerranée (France)

Olivier Bordes, Journalist (France)

Marie Thérèse Marchand,  Association CAPSOLIDAIRE "Faire Grandir l'Enfant par le Jeu le Désert  (France)

L'Association des Sahraouis en France

L'AFAPREDESA, Association des Familles et des Disparus Sahraouis (France)

CORELSO,Comité pour le respect des libertés et droits humains au Sahara occidental

Jean-Paul Le Marec, ingénieur agronome (France)

Comité Limousin de Solidarité avec le Peuple Sahraoui (CLSPS) (France)

Aline Pailler,  Journaliste  (France)

Aba Haissan, Saharawi Jurists Union, UJS

Mohamed Cheikh, General Trade Union of Saharawi Workers, UGTSARIO

Saharawi Committee For the Defence of Human Rights in Glaimim (Morocco)

Solidariteitsgroep Westelijke Sahara (Belgium)

Rolf Thulin, Staffanstorp (Sverige)

Katarina Cnattingius,Täby (Sverige)

Claes Cnattingius, Täby (Sverige)

Pierre Holonou Akpenou, Président APSO (Togo)

Bachir Mohamed Jalil, Periodista en La Radio Nacional Saharaui

Gemeinnützige Entwicklungszusammenarbeit GmbH (GEZA) (Österreich)

Leif Hansson, Ransby (Sverige)

Abdeslam Omar Lasen, President, AFAPREDESA, The Association for the Families of Saharawi Prisoners and the Disappeared (Saharawi Refugee Camps, Tindouf)

Mildred Thulin, Staffanstorp, Former Member of Parliament (Sverige)

Gaspar Llamazares Trigo (España)


Malainin Lakhal, Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union (UPES) (Tindouf Refugee Camps)

Yahya Rahal, President of Youth Voluntary Organisation "Freedom and Peace"

Mousa Salma, Secretary General,Saharawi Youth Union (UJSARIO)

Luis Portillo Pasqual Del Riquelme, Doctor en Ciencias Económicas, Funcionario del Estado (España)

The Swedish Western Sahara Committee

SJJA (Sahara Japan Journalist Association).

Cate Lewis, Vice President, Australia Western Sahara Association

Suzana Braz, Associação Amizade Portugal Sahara Ocidental



News archive:
14.04 - 2010RFK and HRW call for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
10.04 - 2010Morocco to appoint a Polisario deserter Ambassador to Spain
09.04 - 2010Morocco must end harassment of Sahrawi activists
05.04 - 2010Worldwide appeal for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
06.04 - 2010Moroccan crack-down against group of Saharawi activists
04.04 - 2010Appeal by political prisoner's mother
02.04 - 2010Health Sahrawi political prisoners on hunger strike deteriorating
16.03 - 2010Emprisoned Saharawi activist wins human rights award
05.03 - 2010First EU-Morocco summit: Don’t forget human rights in Western Sahara
05.03 - 2010Take action for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
24.02 - 2010European Parliament's lawyers declare EU fishing illegal
12.02 - 2010Parties to Western Sahara dispute commit to further UN-backed talks
09.02 - 2010Parties in Western Sahara dispute to hold new round of talks tomorrow
28.01 - 2010Morocco slammed for Sahara travel ban
23.01 - 2010Peak phosphorous: mankind's latest threat
18.12 - 2009Activist's "victory" over Morocco puts Sahara back on world agenda
18.12 - 2009Activist heads home after ending hunger strike
17.12 - 2009As UN Council meets on Western Sahara, ill Haidar is freed
17.12 - 2009Western Sahara hunger striker taken to hospital
05.12 - 2009AU calls on Moroccan authorities to allow return of rights activist

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.