The organizations participating to
the preparations for the World Social Forum 2013, held in Hammamet in Tunis,
were chocked to learn about the sentences against the 25 Saharawis, 24 detainees,
including members of Saharawi civil society’s organizations are under
“provisional detention” for 27 months in total defiance of
international and Moroccan laws.
They are accused in this trial
about the violence that occurred before, during and after the events of the
dismantling, by the Moroccan forces on November 8, 2010, of the protest camp of
Gdeim Izik (near Laayoune, Western Sahara), when 11 members of the Moroccan
security forces and two Saharawi civilians were killed.
No matter what the accusations can
be, and no matter what are the conditions of the trial, a military tribunal is
a court of exception and do not meet the internationally recognized norms for a
fair trial that respects the law.
The undersigning organizations
involved in the preparation of the World Social Forum that will take place in
Tunis this Marsh 2013, while conscious that such trial can not be separated
from the political dimension related to the conflict of Western Sahara, and while
condemning the use of violence reiterating their firm condemnation to the
hideous perpetrated crimes and demanding justice for the families of the
1- Estimate that a trial of this
sort adopted by a Military Tribunal is a verdict that is not based on any
legitimacy, according to international standards.
2- Demand the annulation of the
trial and the presentation of the Saharawi defendants before a civil court with
all guarantees for a fair trial.
3- Demand the opening by the
Moroccan judiciary authorities of an immediate investigation on the allegations
of torture and ill treatments against the Saharawi prisoners, conforming to the
international standards in the subject.
4- Consider that if this conflict,
which is stalled for more than 38 years so far, does not find a political
solution that respects the international law, it will continue generating
violence, hatred and risks of communities’ conflicts. They call on the direct
and indirect actors, national and international, to exercise influence on the process
of negotiations so as to reach a solution based on the international legality
and accepted by the concerned parties.
5- Reiterate their support to the
process started by the organizations of the Maghreb for the search of an
alternative solution to the actual official blockage, and to theses organizations’
choice to join force for the protection of human rights in the region without
any restriction, for social justice, for the inalienable right of the peoples
to self-determination and for the edification of another Maghreb, the Maghreb
of the peoples.
6- Demand, conforming to Porto
Alegre Charter and to the irreversible choices of peaceful resolution to
conflicts, that the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis, which gathers
organizations and civil societies and social movements, can be an opportunity to
strengthen their dynamic and the process launched since 2006 for the search and
the proposition of alternatives to the States’ blockage and to boost the
coordination of joint struggles while respecting diversity and for another
The Moroccan military tribunal
condemned 25 Saharawi prisoners last February 17, 2013 to the following
sentences: 09 Saharawis to life imprisonment, 4 to 30 years, 7 to 25 years, 3
to 20 years, and two others to 2 years imprisonment.
Hammamet, February 17, 2013