MOROCCO: Accounts of Human Rights Abuses Persist in Wake of November Unrest

Based on dozens of interviews, this report documents human rights abuses inflicted by Moroccan government forces against civilians during the dismantlement of the Gdaim Izik protest camp in November 2010, and in its aftermath.

In January 2011, a delegation of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights traveled to Western Sahara to visit 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureate, Aminatou Haidar. Led by Haidar, the delegation examined human rights violations allegedly committed by Moroccan security forces against Sahrawis. The delegation met with more than two dozen victims of abuse, torture, and imprisonment and their families, in addition to Moroccan government officials and representatives of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

According to the findings of the report, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, failure to follow criminal procedures, and repression of civilians by Moroccan government forces are all too common in Western Sahara. This context, in concert with the violence that broke out on November 8, 2010, when Moroccan security forces dismantled the Gdaim Izik camp set up by residents of Western Sahara to protest social and economic discrimination, reinforces the need for impartial international human rights monitoring of the situation. 


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