WFDY is alarmed about the situation of human rights in territories of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation,

Human Rights Council 23rd session, 27th May – 14 June 2013 Statement by: World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), NGO in general consultative status with ECOSOC Speaker: Mr. Malainin Mohamed Item 3- Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development General debate Mr. President, WFDY is alarmed about the situation of human rights in territories of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, mainly the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association and the Sahrawi people’s right to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources, which are seriously and systematically violated by the Moroccan authorities since 1975 to this date. There are more than 60 Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons now. They were arrested, tortured tried and imprisoned because of their political opinions against the occupation of Western Sahara, among them 24 civilians, including renown human rights defenders, sentenced last February 2013 by a Military court in Rabat. Moroccan authorities also violently oppress Saharawi peaceful demonstrations, while Saharawi human rights associations, such as ASVDH and CODESA, are denied the right to legal registration. In the last Security Council's resolution on Western Sahara, the Kingdom of Morocco profited from its membership to oppose the inclusion of a human rights component in the mandate of the MINURSO. WFDY believes that by adopting this attitude, Morocco disqualified itself from the coming elections to the membership in the Human Rights Council. Consequently, we openly call on all UN member States not to vote in favor of Morocco in these elections. Morocco must first respect human rights and international law to deserve sitting in a Council that is mandated by the UN to monitor, promote and protect human rights universally. Other multilateral organizations have been more diligent than this Council in addressing the human rights substance of such protracted crises that involves population transfer, crimes against humanity and violation of a large spectrum of human rights, as the one in Western Sahara. WFDY believes that it is time for the Council to pay serious attention to this situation, including by sending a fact-finding mission to investigate the full range of human rights conditions in this colony before it is too late.