Support from Saharawi civil society for our court case
We are humbled that representatives of Saharawi Civil Society living in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara have written in support of our court case against the British government regarding the inclusion of the territories of occupied Western Sahara in the new trade deal between the UK and Morocco.
You can read the letter below.
Together with our Saharawi brothers and sisters, we seek justice for the Saharawi people.
To Whom It May Concern,
We write as representatives of Saharawi civil society daily confronting a repressive Moroccan occupation of much of our homeland. We want to express our appreciation of the Western Sahara Campaign UK’s active solidarity with the Saharawi people under occupation and in exile, specifically the campaign’s initiative in challenging the UK government’s shameless move to include our sovereign resources in a trade deal with Morocco. The inclusion of our stolen resources in this trade deal is tantamount to backdoor recognition of the occupation. As such, it is in contradiction with both the formal position of the UK government regarding the ongoing conflict and international law. It also flies in the face of previous judgements by English and European Union courts.
Our fish stocks and even our sand and solar power are stolen from us on a daily basis by the occupying power and collaborating foreign companies and governments. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the Western Sahara for shipment to the UK and EU markets. All this occurs without the permission of the Saharawi people in contravention of international law.
What is more dangerous is the tacit acceptance of resettlement, which is a war crime. Saharawi civilians in the occupied territories are a minority today because of the successive waves of settlement since the Moroccan invasion, and thus settlers have become almost the only beneficiaries of job opportunities. Foreign investments encourage this crime, as foreign companies operating within the occupied territories make job offers in Moroccan cities to bring in settlers.
The strength of WSC UK’s case is clear and simple: articles 2 and 73 of the UN Charter are explicit that without the active and continuing assent of the Saharawi people, conveyed through their recognised representative the Polisario Front, exploitation of their resources is illegal. And the illegitimacy of the Moroccan occupation was incontrovertibly acknowledged by the International Court of Justice.
As civil society organisations of the Saharawi people, we wish to state that the permission of our people under occupation and in exile has been neither sought by nor granted to the UK government. The exploitation of these resources only serves the interests of the Moroccan occupation and to grant trade preferences to goods produced under occupation makes the UK complicit in our suffering. For the UK government to reintroduce trade preferences for commodities from the Western Sahara, having had a previous attempt ruled illegal, is cynical in the extreme.
We call on all people of goodwill to join us in backing WSC UK’s legal action against the UK government.
1. Saharawi Association for Control of Natural Resources and Protection of the Environment (AREN)
2. Saharawi Association of Serious Human Rights Violations Victims Committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH)
3. Committee for the Defense of the Right to Self-determination (Codapso)
4. League for the Defense of Saharawi Prisoners in Moroccan Prisons (lPPS)
5. Saharawi Association for the Protection and Dissemination of Saharawi Cultural Heritage
6. Coordinator Gdeim-izik for a Peaceful Movement
7. Committee of the Families of the 15 Kidnapped Youths
8. Group of Revocation of Moroccan Nationality
9. Saharawi Child Protection Observatory
10. Coordinator of NGOs in El Aaiun
11. Committee for the Protection of Natural Resources and Support for the Peace Plan (CSPRON)
12. Equipe Media
13. Saharawi Commission for the Functionaries and Workers Arbitrarily Dismissed (CEWF)
14. Saharawi Organ against Moroccan Occupation (Isacom)
15. Saharawi League for the Defence of Human Rights and Protection of Natural Resources in Boujador ( CSDHPRN)
16. Saharawi Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Smara
17. Committee for the Protection of Saharawi Defenders (Freedomsun)
18. Saharawi Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Goulmime
WESTERN SAHARA CAMPAIGN UK
The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights.
Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.
Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara