Mr. Kofi Annan
Secretary General of the United Nations
New York, New York 10017
United Sates of America
Ref: Concern for Sahrawi political prisoners
C.C. Moroccan Minister for Justice, Mohamed Bouzoubaa
And U.S Congress. USA.
March 10, 2006
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We are very concerned about the imprisonment of Sahrawi activists’ leaders, especially for their health as they have all been on hunger strike in various Moroccan prisons in different occasions. We all know that they are in prison illegally and were denied their basic rights and are detained because they dared to speak out the truth.
We have information from Sahrawi communities and from the prisoners themselves. Most Sahrawi prisoners have been judged and sentenced without any consideration to fairness and justice.. This treatment flagrantly contravenes the principle "non bis in idem".
It is no doubt that despite the many appeals to fair trials; Morocco is still way behind when it comes to dealing with Sahrawis as human beings, and the respect for their rights.
Moroccan justice has not allowed the accused to present a legal defense away from any external pressure. Most prisoners have been cruelly interrogated before being brought into the justice system. To accuse and judge Sahrawis as terrorists and separatists has denied them the opportunity of being bailed or having anything other than a custodial sentence. In prison they have been subjected to extremely hard conditions and they bear witness to intimidating and racist treatment by the prison authorities.
Mr. Secretary General, we are extremely alarmed, concerned, and annoyed by these events. We ask you particularly to listen to the requests of those Sahrawi prisoners who are advocates of the Sahrawis cause and the Sahrawi people.Sahrawis have a great and a deep respect for you and for the United Nations as a whole body. Sahrawis have always abided by the international law and always believed in the values and principles expressed in the chart of the United Nations.
The United Nations was founded to protect human rights, to settle conflicts, to help preserve liberties, and to give aid when necessary. It is thus our duty and due to the circumstances, we urge you to act quickly before the fate of these political Sahrawis gets any worse.
Free those political prisoners held in the Moroccan prisons in Western Sahara and inside Morocco. If a trial has to be done, then complete all their trials rapidly in a transparent unbiased and fair way. We all believe in their innocence and thus we ask you personally to intervene and demand the release those who are sick in the prison and of those who are there without any reason but just because they are Sahrawis. Their crime is that they are Sahrawis and don’t want to be somebody else.
Get the Moroccan authorities to put on trial the police officers who killed the two Sahrawi citizens. They both died because of the brutality of the Moroccan police and its use of force and violence against the civilian Sahrawis.
We ask that political prisoners of the Sahrawi nation be given the treatment laid down in international law. In particular we ask that two international conventions be respected: to prevent and punish torture and that which is designed to bring an end to all forms of racial discrimination.
Moroccan Minister for Justice, Mohamed Bouzoubaa