Sultana Khaya, Saharawi human rights activist and her entire immediate family have been subject to brutal physical attacks, house arrest, constant surveillance and harassment since November 19.
The aggression has escalated and Sultana publicly stated that “the Moroccan occupation authorities intend to physically eliminate me.” On 13 February last year, the brutality of the attacks by the Moroccan occupation authorities increased significantly with yet another attack on Sultana and her sister Elwaara.
According to sources in the occupied territories, two of the attackers were identified as Moroccan agents Hakim Amern and his deputy, Mohamed Madi.
Sultana Khaya called on international human rights organizations to provide the defenseless Saharawi civilians with the necessary protection from the repressive practices of the Moroccan regime. Since the end of the ceasefire, which was broken by the Moroccan Kingdom on 13 November last year, the occupied territories have been under even greater siege.
Sultana Khaya’s family is concerned about her injuries, to the level of her only eye. The other eye had already been forcibly removed by the Moroccan authorities in 2007.
The Moroccan regime, through its CNDH (National Human Rights Council), has made public that they visited Sultana Khaya to launch an investigation.
According to Sultana Khaya, “the statement published by the CNDH is a lie and she never spoke to them.”
The Saharawi National Human Rights Council (CONSADAH) denounced that the statements are “nothing more than a maneuver to cover up the horrific crimes the activist and her family suffered at the hands of Moroccan security forces”.
The statement is nothing more than a lie and a contradiction to reality, in a despicable attempt that aims to “bamboozle and mislead national and international public opinion”, CONSADAH added in its press statement.
The Saharawi Human Rights Commission reminded the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out its mission and protect the Saharawi civilian population suffering under the occupation, and urged them to assume their responsibilities in Western Sahara as it is a non-autonomous territory whose decolonization is still pending and whose population still does not enjoy its right to self-determination and independence.
ICRC president, Peter Maurer has no intention of acting
In a recent interview about the coronavirus (Peter Maurer: “¿Pandemia? En África faltan vacunas contra la polio, la malaria y la tuberculosis”), Peter Maurer responded to the question:
“- What do you think about the tensions in the Western Sahara?”
– It’s a very delicate situation that we’re looking at. But we believe that political action can still prevent further escalation, and we believe that other actors need to intervene, starting with the UN, which has an important role to play in this issue.
The question, then, is, whether the ICRC will wait for a solution and then its assistance will no longer be needed? For decades, the ICRC has been asked to intervene to help the Saharawi victims of the crimes of the Moroccan occupation regime, but has always shirked its responsibilities. Not even the Saharawi prisoners in Moroccan jails have received a visit from the ICRC for over two decades.
The other question is what the State donors of the ICRC think about this “inaction” of the ICRC, whose mandate is very clear in the case of Western Sahara, which meets all the criteria of a population that urgently needs its intervention.
The Moroccan Kingdom shows its weakness
The attacks against a household of Women, Sultana, ,her Sister and her elderly mother are a desparate attempt to intimidate the Saharawi population.
In a visit to a middle school in Lisbon, Portugal in 2008 Sultana Khaya who was talking to a group of children was asked by a little girl:
And now that they have taken your eye, beaten you, destroyed your things, and did horrible things to your people are you going to go back and continue to fight for the freedom of your country?”
Sultana answered “yes of course” and the little girl nodded in approval.
Morocco seems not to understand that attacking the Saharawi only shows how weak their claims are when they try to pretend that all is well in Western Sahara.
The attacks against civilians, that are completely unarmed and whose only crime is to demand the respect of International Law is not only a crime it is the proof that the Moroccan Kingdom is far weaker than it pretends. It also shows to the moroccan settlers that Morocco is desperate and fears the Saharawi population which was reduced to less than 30% after war and with the introduction of moroccan military, police, auxiliary forces and settlers.
por A. Garcia
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