Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Issue of human rights in Western Sahara debated at European Parliament

Sahara Press Service - 22nd June 2013

The Rapporteur Mr. Charles Tannock presented Thursday, June 20, his report on the situation of human rights in Western Sahara and the Sahel, to the Committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, said the Saharawi Minister Delegate for Europe Mr. Mohamed Sidati.

A very large majority of MEPs have expressed satisfaction for the report, describing it as “comprehensive and objective.”

The debate showed a great concern on the repeated violations of human rights in Western Sahara, illegally occupied by Morocco, which have been examined in the report.

The Moroccan authorities and lobby tried, in vain, to block the situation of human rights in Western Sahara from being addressed in this report, the Saharawi diplomat asserted.

The Rapporteur Mr. Charles Tannock presented the final version of its report, which includes the amendments approved by a vote at the European Parliament plenary session in October, concluded the same source.

In February, the European Parliament expressed, in a resolution submitted to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, its concern over the continued violations of human rights in Western Sahara, calling for the protection of the fundamental rights of Saharawi population, including the freedom of association, expression and the right to demonstrate.

The European Parliament, which had asked for the release of all Saharawi political prisoners, has welcomed the appointment of a special envoy for the Sahel and underlines the need for international monitoring of the situation of human rights in Western Sahara, reiterating its support for a just and lasting settlement of the conflict, based on the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.

Earlier in September 2012, the EP adopted a resolution reaffirming the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and to determine the status of Western Sahara, through a democratic referendum in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, added the same source. (SPS)