Ambassador Hilale Alerts UN SG and SC to Human Rights Violations in Tindouf Camps

Morocco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, ambassador Omar Hilale, alerted the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to the massive and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Tindouf camps in Algeria.


"The renunciation by the +polisario+ of the ceasefire on November 13, 2020, was accompanied by a serious deterioration of an already precarious human rights situation, marked by an exacerbation of the repression of the populations held again their will in the Tindouf camps and the propagation of a discourse of incitement to hatred and violence on the part of the leaders of the +polisario+," deplored Hilale in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the 15 members of the Security Council.


In this regard, ambassador Hilale enumerated the manifestations of serious human rights violations in the Tindouf camps, including the multiplication of oratory meetings inciting the populations of the camps to the assassination of opponents to the leadership of "polisario" and Sahrawi unionist populations in the cities of southern Morocco, the reinforcement of the state of siege imposed by the Algerian army around the Tindouf camps and the deployment of elements of the Algerian security services inside these camps.


He also drew attention to "the prohibition on people leaving the Tindouf camps, (…) the summoning of bloggers to force them to refrain from any publication critical of the leadership of the +polisario+ and to content themselves with relaying false statements of the separatist leaders under penalty of prosecution, in addition to the mobilization of combatants operating in the Sahel-Saharan zone and their installation in the Tindouf camps from which they launched appeals to their accomplices belonging to different armed groups to fight with the +polisario+ militias”.


Hilale also denounced Algeria's opposition to the registration and census of the populations held against their will in the Tindouf camps, which constitutes a clear violation of international humanitarian law, the continued diversion of humanitarian aid intended for the populations of the Tindouf camps and the militarization of these camps.


In addition, he highlighted multiple and serious violations to which the detained populations in the Tindouf camps are subjected on a daily basis, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearances, and violations of the rights to life, education, and freedom of opinion, expression, demonstration, and movement, as well as the practice of slavery.


The Moroccan diplomat condemned the "polisario"'s recourse to compulsory recruitment of children from the Tindouf camps and their dispatch to military training centers in northern Algeria, noting that this hideous and condemnable practice constitutes one of the worst violations of human rights, because it deprives these children, aged 12 and 13 years, and even younger, of their innocence and their basic rights, including education and family life.