Thanks to internet and social media, human rights abuses that once went unreported in the Tindouf camps are now known by "everyone", said Wednesday in New York Morocco's permanent representative to the United Nations, Omar Hilale.
"In the past, there was no internet, no social media, no mobile phones, but now the Tindouf camps, which are an open-air prison, have become like a crystal ball: Everyone knows that serious human rights abuses are perpetrated there," Hilale said at a press conference following the adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution No 2494 on the Moroccan Sahara issue.
Morocco has for decades been alerting the Security Council and the international community to the serious violations of human rights perpetrated in the Tindouf camps by Polisario, the ambassador said, noting that this situation is due to the fact that these camps are run with an iron fist by "a Stalinist oligarchy".
"These camps are the only ones in the world where security, population management and even justice are not entrusted to the host country, as it is the case in other situations around the world and in accordance with international humanitarian law," he pointed out.
"All of these prerogatives are entrusted to Polisario, which violates human rights and has taken hostage the fate of thousands of people, sequestrated in these camps for almost 44 years," Hilale added.
In this regard, Hilale expressed his satisfaction that the UN chief has dedicated several paragraphs to this issue in his latest report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara.
Indeed United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed, in his latest report on the Moroccan Sahara to the Security Council, the leaders of "Polisario" for their serious and systematic violations of human rights in the Tindouf camps.
In this report, the UN Secretary-General listed the demonstrations, marches and sit-ins that have multiplied in the Tindouf camps from April to June 2019 to protest against the blockade and restrictive measures on freedom of movement imposed by “Polisario” in the Tindouf camps.
In this regard, the report said that groups of demonstrators protested several times a month in the camps of Tindouf in Algeria and also called for freedom of movement and general reforms.
Guterres did not fail to highlight one of the protesters' demands to obtain information from the leaders of "Polisario" and Algeria on the fate of El Khalil Ahmed Braih, who has been missing in Algeria since 2009. On July 15, Braih's wife and children started a sit-in in front of the complex of UN agencies in the region.
The report also underlined the numerous information received by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the excessive use by the Polisario security forces of harassment, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment against human rights activists and bloggers involved in documenting human rights breaches in the camps.
The report stated that these human rights defenders and bloggers only denounced on social networks the management by “Polisario” of the Tindouf camps. They were arrested in June 2019 by the Polisario security forces following a sit-in in Rabouni to protest against the disappearance of El-Khalil Ahmed Braih, said the UN Secretary General.