[mgj-discuss] Urgent: Please Join Protest to Save Aminatou Haidar-Thursday, Dec 17
nonviolence at igc.org
nonviolence at igc.org
Wed Dec 16 16:54:10 EST 2009
We, as US citizens, have a special responsibility to stand up because
the US government for decades has provided enormous military, political
and economic support the Moroccan government despite its illegal
invasion and occupation of Western Sahara.
For those of you who are really fired up about the Israeli occupation of
Palestine, this is a similar case. The US government pays lips service
to UN resolution and violations of international law, and openly
supports the occupiers.
Please turn out at noon near Dupont Circle tomorrow and support this
heroic Sahrawi woman who is physically very weak.
*Protest for Sahrawi Human Rights Defender Aminatou Haidar*
*12:00 noon, Thursday, December 17, 2009*
Moroccan Embassy, *1601 21st Street, N.W., Washington DC 20009*
*Human Rights Groups to Stage Protest: Call for King Mohamed VI to Allow
Aminatou Haidar to Return Home *
*(Washington, D.C.)* Human rights groups including the Human Rights
Action Center and the U.S.-Western Sahara Foundation are staging a
protest at the Moroccan Embassy to call for the King of Morocco to allow
Aminatou Haidar to return home. Haidar has been on a hunger strike
since November 16, when Moroccan authorities took her passport as she
was returning to her homeland of Western Sahara after visiting the
United States to receive the Civil Courage Prize given for “steadfast
resistance to evil at great personal risk.”
Haidar is known as the "Sahrawi Gandhi" for her peaceful work calling
for self-determination for Western Sahara, the only country in Africa
that was not decolonized because Morocco invaded and has controlled the
one-time colony of Spain since 1975. The Moroccan authorities who
occupy her homeland, confiscated her passport and forced her to go to
Lanzorate Airport, Spain, when she wrote “Western Sahara" as her home
rather than “Morocco” on her arrival form. She has vowed to maintain her
hunger strike until she is allowed to “return to her homeland, where my
children live or I die.”
Haidar won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award last year and the
organization has sent representatives to visit her in Lanzorate Airport.
Jack Healey, former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, and
founder of the Human Rights Action Center says: "The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights guarantees everyone the right to a
homeland. Morocco needs to re-assess its policy and allow Aminatou
Haidar to return home unconditionally. A restitution package for
personal harm inflicted upon her by this mistaken policy is essential to
healing wounds and showing remorse."
Chairman of the US-Western Sahara Foundation, Suzanne Scholte, who
nominated Haidar for the two awards, said, "Aminatou Haidar is the
symbol of the Sahrawi cause, which stands for self-determination, the
rule of law, and nonviolence. The continued cruel treatment by the
Moroccan authorities of Haidar and other Sahrawis simply illustrates
vividly why African countries recognize the Sahrawi Republic over
Immediately following the demonstration at the Moroccan Embassy,
participants will go to the Spanish Embassy to make an appeal to the
Spanish Prime Minister because the Spanish government was complicit with
Morocco in forcing her to go to the Canary Islands.
The violence against the Sahrawis in occupied Western Sahara has been
documented and reported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch,
Freedom House, the World Organization Against Torture, Reporters without
Borders, and the U.S. State Department. In fact, Morocco’s brutal
occupation of Western Sahara has repeatedly led Freedom House to list
Moroccan Occupied Western Sahara as one of the world’s worst regimes.
Even the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
has acknowledged Morocco’s human rights violations against the Sahrawi
people, concluding that it is a direct result of Morocco's denial of the
basic right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.
For further information, contact Henry Song at 202-596-6547 or Suzanne
Scholte at 703-534-4313.
+1 202 244 0951
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