Human rights abuses by Moroccan authorities abound in the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara territory. A leaked report of an investigation in 2006 by the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded:
Overall, the human rights situation is of serious concern, particularly in the Moroccan-administered territory of Western Sahara. Currently, the Sahrawi people are not only denied their right to self-determination, but equally are severely restricted from exercising a series of other rights, and specially rights of particular importance to the very right of self-determination, such as the right to express their views about the issue, to create associations defending their right to self-determination and to hold assemblies to make their views known. In order to comply with its international obligations, particularly under the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, serious changes to both legislation as well as government practice on the issue of Western Sahara are required.
Little has changed since 2006. A 2011 report entitled “Worst of the Worst 2011” by the Freedom House, for example, included Western Sahara in its list of the world’s most repressive societies:
Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front made little progress in mediated negotiations on Western Sahara’s status in 2010, and violent clashes between Sahrawi protesters and Moroccan security forces led to a number of deaths in November. Sahrawi activists continued to face harassment and detention during the year. As the occupying force in Western Sahara, Morocco controls local elections and works to ensure that pro-independence leaders are excluded from both the local political process and the Moroccan Parliament. Reports of corruption are widespread. The territory possesses extensive natural resources, including phosphate, iron-ore deposits, hydrocarbon reserves, and fisheries. Nevertheless, the local population remains largely impoverished.
Morocco steadfastly refuses to negotiate with the representatives of the people of Western Sahara on the terms of a referendum that would include an option for an independent state. It has not only settled and occupied the entire Western Sahara territory. It insists that the entire territory belongs to and is under the legal sovereignty of Morocco, despite UN resolutions and an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice to the contrary.
Israel, on the other hand, is prepared to negotiate the terms of a two-state solution with the Palestinians so long as it is truly a two-state solution in which the Israeli state can remain a secure Jewish nation.
Morocco’s hypocrisy is just the latest example when it comes to condemnations of Israel from countries whose human rights records are so much worse. Morocco now has an Islamist government. Expect Morocco to take the lead in the Security Council, along with Pakistan, in continuing to push the Palestinians’ agenda to delegitimize Israel.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Pages: 1 2