ISACOM holds meeting to assess Moroccan harassment against its members, pledges to continue struggle until independence

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Occupied El Aaiun (Saharawi Republic) 07 October 2020 (SPS)- The Executive Bueau of the Sahrawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation held its second meeting via videoconference, on Tuesday, in the occupied city of El-Aaiun, to review the harassment and police siege that the members of the Commission have been subjected to since the establishment of the ISACOM, calling on the United Nations to decolonize Western Sahara .

The Bureau recalled in a Press Release after the meeting that “Western Sahara is an occupied country included in the UN decolonization list since 1963, and that the Moroccan state, no matter how much it tries to cover facts with disinformation and colonial propaganda, remains a military force of occupation that has no sovereignty or legitimacy on the territory, and therefore, the United Nations bears full responsibility for this occupied territory until the exercise by the Sahrawi people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.”

The following is the complete text of the Press Release, of which Sahara Press Service received a copy:

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The Moroccan occupation continues putting the homes of the members of the Sahrawi Organ against Moroccan Occupation and persists with daily attacks on them

Press Release

The members of the Executive Bureau of the Sahrawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation (ISACOM- in its Spanish abbreviation) met via videoconference on October 5, 2020, after they could not hold their meeting normally because of the illegal police siege put on their homes and the close surveillance of the members of the Organ.

The meeting discussed the intimidation campaign the members of the Organ are exposed to under the command of the Moroccan authorities of occupation in El-Aain and other occupied Saharawi cities, backed by Moroccan media that tries to justify the campaign through websites and newspapers, and all this sparked by the statement by the Justice of the Moroccan occupation issued on September 29, 2020, on behalf of The king’s Prosecutor in the occupied city of El Aaiun, in which he called for an investigation of what he attributed to the members of the Organ under the charge of “compromising the territorial integrity of Morocco” in reference to the establishment of ISACOM.

The members of the Executive Bureau note with condemnation the presence of cars with civilian plate-numbers and cars of Moroccan police carrying plain-clothed agents, and service cars of men and women from the local authority in the occupied El Aaiun, who have been laying siege to the homes of ISACOM members since last Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

In fact, the authorities of the Moroccan occupation maintain a siege to the homes of the following members of ISACOM, and continue to daily harass them: Ms. Aminatou Haidar, President of the Organ, and the members of the Executive Bureau: Ms. El-Ghalia Djimi, Ms. Mina Baali and Mr. Lahcen Dalil. The siege is also maintained on the houses of the members of ISACOMGeneral Assembly: Ms. Fatima Ayach and Mr. Dafa Ahmed Babu . The besiegers make sure to close the entrances to the homes of the members of the Organ around the clock, preventing those coming to visit from approaching them. To do that groups of agents get out of their cars, while others roam around the houses in a constant movement, and others rush on motorcycles patrolling the surroundings of the houses, and Signal to their colleagues to prevent any visitor from approaching the houses. When anyone gets out of the house, the besiegers rush to follow them closely to any destination they head to.

These arbitrary measures, which violate the international laws and even the laws of the Moroccan occupation state itself, created an atmosphere of exasperation among families and neighbours, while the psychological safety of many children is under threat of trauma and complication. A constant state of depression seemed to raise the concerns of the family of human rights defender Hasana Edouihi about the condition of his 12-year-old son, Saad Edouihi, who cannot comprehend what his parents are exposed to. His mother, Mina Baali, a member of the commission’s Executive Bureau, lives daily with insults, offensive speech, and ill-treatment by Moroccan security personnel, amid an enforced siege of the house, while his father Hasana Edouihi is still prevented by the authorities of occupation from leaving the occupied city of Bojador, inhumanly and shamefully deprived of his legal, natural and human right to join his home and family.

All this takes place with the presence on the ground of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which we see nothing reassuring about its presence in the region. This UN Mission has always kept absolute silence, ignoring the blatant and obvious oppression and cruelties by the Moroccan authorities against Sahrawi civilians, while it rushes in unparalleled speed whenever the regime of occupation asks it to “witness” so-called Saharawi violations in the Guerguerat region, for example, or to observe peaceful demonstrations of Sahrawi citizens in the liberated territories in front of some points of the Moroccan military wall of shame. Consequently, the mission’s modus operandi, behavior, and its apathy or inability to monitor and report on Moroccan violations is in fact a direct encouragement and support to the occupation. It is also a constant blow to the Mission’s credibility among Sahrawi people and international public opinion, and a flagrant violation of the most basic conditions of humanitarian protection, especially in relation to the protection of civilians in a region that is still classified as a matter of decolonization of a territory that must be subject to the requirements of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to the various UN resolutions related to decolonization, and to the relevant international and African agreements and covenants that should be applied to this militarily occupied country.

The Executive Bureau of ISACOM, while taking note of the state of siege imposed on the members of the Organ, the accompanying media campaigns promoting racism and fuelling hate, the psychological effects it has on children, in addition to insults and harassment that spares none, and the atmosphere of bitterness among the Saharawi public opinion:

– Reminds all the institutions of the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and all relevant international organizations and bodies, that Western Sahara is an occupied country included in the UN decolonization list since 1963, and that the Moroccan state, no matter how much it tries to cover facts with disinformation and colonial propaganda, remains a military force of occupation that has no sovereignty or legitimacy on the territory, and therefore, the United Nations bears full responsibility for this occupied territory until the exercise by the Sahrawi people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

– Reminds Morocco and the United Nations also that the right of peoples to self-determination is an inherent right in all international charters and treaties, especially with regard to colonized or occupied peoples, a right that cannot be forfeited, ignored, or manipulated by anyone.

– Condemns the repressive measures that violate the international law committed by the Moroccan authorities of occupation against the members of the ISACOM, and against dozens of innocent Saharawi citizens, and condemns all forms of violence, harassment, and ill-treatment and insults to human dignity that affects many family members and visitors of the members of the Organ under siege in their homes.

– Calls upon free people everywhere, international human rights bodies and organizations and democratic forces to support ISACOM in its struggle for freedom and for the lifting of the siege imposed on its members, and to help raising awareness of the crimes and atrocities the Moroccan occupation is committing against them and against the Sahrawi citizens in the occupied territories of Western Sahara and southern Morocco.

– Reaffirms its determination to continue its human rights work, aimed at defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Sahrawi people, especially in the occupied part of the Sahrawi Republic, by all legitimate peaceful means, and in all international and continental forums that it can reach, and to continue struggling against the Moroccan occupation until the evacuation of the occupation and liberation of all occupied territories of the Saharawi Republic.

ISACOM Executive Bureau

Occupied El Aaiun/Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic

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