United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his latest report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara, once again slammed polisario leaders for serious and systematic human rights violations in the Tindouf camps.
Guterres enumerated the various reports received by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concerning the massive and large-scale use by the polisario of "harassment, arrests and ill-treatment of bloggers, doctors and nurses" in the Tindouf camps.
The report stated that these serious violations have multiplied in recent months against all those engaged in documenting the cases of COVID-19 in the Tindouf camps. This new wave of repression by the polisario is just one recent example of the massive and ongoing violations by this armed separatist group to silence the voices of dissidents, bloggers, journalists, activists and anyone who contradicts the despotism of its leaders.
These violations have, this time, targeted the medical staff and human rights activists who have only exposed the falsifications of the polisario's information about the COVID-19 pandemic, and denounced its alarming spread among the populations held against their will in the Tindouf camps, deprived of all protection and freedom of movement, association, expression and assembly.
The UN chief expressed his concern about the reports received by the OHCHR on the negative consequences of the closure of borders, obstacles to humanitarian aid and the reduction of economic activities in the Tindouf camps and on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the human rights situation in these camps, in particular with regard to economic and social rights.
The disastrous human rights situation in the Tindouf camps and the massive violations suffered by the detained populations are the result of the resignation of the host country, Algeria, from its primary responsibility for the protection of human rights on its territory.
The situation in these camps, unprecedented in the world, where the host country has delegated its responsibility to an armed separatist group, was recently raised by the Secretary General and UN human rights bodies.
Indeed, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stressed in its opinion of May 2020 about the complaint submitted by the polisario opponent El Fadel Breica against the Algerian State, following his abduction by the polisario, in the Tindouf camps, that the responsibility of Algeria is engaged as long as these violations were committed on Algerian territory and therefore under Algerian territorial jurisdiction. Similarly, the Human Rights Committee reaffirmed in its findings, in March 2020, the full responsibility of Algeria in the abduction and enforced disappearance of the polisario dissident, Khalil Ahmed, whose case was raised in the Secretary-General's report of 2019.
Finally, the Secretary-General cited the letter that Morocco's ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, addressed to him on August 24, 2020, in which Hilale drew the attention of the UN chief on the massive and systematic violations of human rights in the Tindouf camps, characterized by a double dimension, individual and collective.