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Worst of the Worst

March 11, 2009

Freedom House has released this year’s Worst of the Worst (PDF), a look at the most repressive societies on earth.

Two of ours are in there: Libya and Western Sahara.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Laroussi permalink
    March 12, 2009 07:04

    It is interesting to note that the situation in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara is worse than in the Israeli occupied territories (Palestine).

    In the occupied Israeli occupied territories people are for example free to manifest in favour of a Palestinian state or in favour of UN resolutions against Israel.

    In Moroccan controlled Western Sahara it is illegal to manifest in favour of a Saharawi state or in favour of UN resolutions for self-determination.

  2. MAALAINI permalink
    March 13, 2009 16:22

    And still some argue that, wethe saharawis, should accept an autonomous status inside Morroco. Now that there is a UN mission and some international focus on the region WESTERN SAHARA is among the worst of the worst if handled to morocco it we’ll become THE MOTHER OF ALL THE WORST OF THE WORST.

  3. averrosy permalink
    March 13, 2009 21:38

    let be honest here ,do you really think that morocco or any other country apart from polisario and it supporters care about what freedom house or holy amnesty say or preach.
    you guys , anybody fart something about so called western sahara you just have to smell it copy it and paste it.

    from the map of the freedom house(pdf)you’ll see that morocco is partly free while the rest of north africa is not free even the most liberal and democratically elected government in the region i.e polisario didn’t make it.ha.

    edited because contained inappropriate language

  4. Laroussi permalink
    March 15, 2009 10:10

    Here’s another report on human rights violations in Northern Africa: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE01/001/2009/en This time it’s from Amnesty.

    The Saharawi human rights organisation ASVDH, highlights the abuse in Western Sahara committed by the Morocco.

    The Moroccan authorities in the illegally occupied Western Sahara have “repeatedly refused to acknowledge receipt of the registration application filed by the Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State (Association Sahraouie des Victimes des Violations Graves commises par l’Etat Marocain, ASVDH), leaving it in a precarious legal situation”, Amnesty writes in its report.

    This may sound like a mare technicality but due to the authorities refusal ASVDH has a weak legal ground in the eyes of the Moroccan legal system. Brahim Sabbar, the Secretary General of ASVDH, was sentenced to a two-year prison term for belonging to an “unauthorized” organization before his release in June 2008.

    1. Western Sahara is not Moroccan and Moroccan authorities therefore have no de jure legal status in any part of the territory.

    2. Since however part of Western Sahara is military controlled by Morocco this part of the territory is de facto under Moroccan rule and its legislation, legal or not.

    3. Moroccan law (inherited from the French) makes it illegal to run an organisation without an approved registration at the proper Moroccan authorities.

    4. The authorities in El Ayoun refuse, in violation to Moroccan law, to accept a registration application from ASVDH.

    5. The refusal is illegal but complaints against it from ASVDH are still not processed by the Moroccan authorities.

    6. The above proceedings or rather lack of procedings are illegal, according to both international law or Moroccan law.

    7. An organisation can not be considered illegal due to lack of processing by the de facto legal system since it is the obligation of the system to make these proceedings.

    8. ASVDH is not illegal organisation and its members should therefore not be processed or sentenced for belonging to an “unauthorized” organization.

    Now “averrosy” and others like him may think that it does not matter what Freedom House or Amnesty International thinks, but international law and human rights are becoming more and more important to the code of conduct to mayor international corporations due to pressure from public opinion.

    Why do you think that there is such a lack of international investments in Western Sahara compared to the investments that are made in Morocco? The short answer is legality or rather lack of the same.

    Respect for human rights is part of international law, so is sovereignty and self-determination.

    In Western Sahara Morocco shows no respect for either.

  5. averrosy permalink
    March 16, 2009 09:27

    ok, let see show me one or two countries that obey the law of the united nation or any other organisation including holy amnesty and freedom house apart from iceland and polisario.

    – ASVDH it’s been set up by polisario supporters and sponsored by algeria and some spanish organisations everybody knows that even camels.

    -morocco have enough human right organisation to do the job and so far they have been addressing a lot of taboos without mentioning (al nahj democratic) party which’s fully in support of polisario ideology.

    -i don’t see or hear any human right organisation working from the camps or any other political parties contesting the most liberal and democratically elected government of polisario.

    – polisario wouldn’t existed to this day if it wasn’t for algeria if you don’t believe me you just have to ask some of the generals who have retired or defected.

    -do you really believe that all those governments that support polisario care about what holy amnesty or freedom house say or preach.

  6. ibnkafka permalink
    March 16, 2009 19:54

    “It is interesting to note that the situation in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara is worse than in the Israeli occupied territories (Palestine).

    In the occupied Israeli occupied territories people are for example free to manifest in favour of a Palestinian state or in favour of UN resolutions against Israel.”

    Well, you haven’t got a clue, have you? To mention just a recent of the freedom of demonstration you so admire: http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/henry-norr-for-readers-in-northern-california-how-about-noting-that-theres-going-to-be-a-demo-at-the-israeli-consulate-in-sf.html

  7. Laroussi permalink
    March 17, 2009 20:15

    Let me clarify my previous post. It is not illegal per se according to Israeli law to protest against the occupation / annexation or in favour of UN resolutions. This is not illegal in Israel nor in the occupied territories / Palestine. In this sense Palestinians are free to protest. That is the point I am trying to make and the point made by Freedom House in their rating.

    I am very well aware of the many horrible atrocities that are committed on a daily basis against the Palestinian people by the Israeli military and the Israeli police forces, and I am very sorry if I was unclear about this in my previous post. “My bad”.

    But there is a difference in freedom. Palestinians, however brutal the Israeli repression, experience a higher degree of freedom of expression compared to the Saharawi people under Moroccan rule. Although the Saharawis – at the moment – do not run the same risk of lethal retaliation as the Palestinians.

    In Moroccan controlled part of Western Sahara people however are not free in any way to protest or express their views against the occupation.

    If you spread a pamphlet in El Ayoun in favour of Polisario, a Saharawi state or simply in favour of the internationally recognized right to self-determination you will be arrested, beaten, tortured and sent to prison for a long time.

    You risk similar treatment for setting up a Saharawi cultural organisation or a Saharawi human rights organisation, if it does not clearly state that it is Moroccan.

    Palestinians do not run the same risk for simply publishing texts in in favour of a free Palestine or for organizing a Palestinian NGO.

    The other week a young Saharawi woman was raped by Moroccan police just for standing up peacefully to her rights.

    In Palestine (and Israel) Palestinians have a larger degree of freedom of expression compared to the situation for the Saharawis in occupied Western Sahara or Morocco. Hence the difference in freedom “rating” from Freedom House.

    I hope this clarifies my earlier post.

  8. ibnkafka permalink
    March 25, 2009 21:03

    Sorry for this belated response. Your comment may be clear but it is erroneous: Palestinian get shot at for demonstrating peacefully -at Bilin for example – a rare occurence in the Southern provinces, however harsh the repression may be. As regards freedom of expression, the combined repression by the Israeli-backed Palestinian authority and by Israel itself is very real – try stand in Ramallah and spread flyers for Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the PFLP. Thousands of Palestinian are detained administratively, without any judicial remedy.

    I understand the temptation for Polisario supporters to take a free ride on the Palestinian bandwagon. I wonder if this is not in the Moroccan government’s interest: the prima facie difference between the situation in the territories occupied in 1967 and the situation in Morocco’s Southern provinces is so stark (for one thing, the absence of ethnic discrimination, which is probably the outstanding feature of the situation in Palestine) that this propaganda effort not only falls flat – I haven’t seen many outside the happy few using the term “intifada” to describe separatist protests in Laayoune – but probably makes the situation in the Moroccan Sahara look even better – after all, no embargo, targeted killings, or bombings take place there.

    But if you insist on this comparison, one further argument could be made: while many Palestinian militants revert to the one-state solution with citizenship rights to be granted to the Palestinian living in the territories occupied in 1967, inhabitants in the Moroccan Sahara have never been denied Moroccan citizenship since 1975. Granted, the demographic balance isn’t the same, and the overall human rights situation in Morocco, South or North, is dire compared to the rights enjoyed by Jewish Israelis. Still, I would say that the comparison with occupied Palestine is flattering to Morocco – which is not to say that it should be considered as an achievement, as the situation in Palestine is so dire.

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