Chairwoman Hautala sent today an urgent letter to the Ambassador Alem, of Morocco, calling for the authorities to stop use of lethal force in Western Sahara.[:]
Ambassadeur, Chef de la Mission du Royaume du Maroc auprès de l’Union Européenne
2, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt
Your Excellency, Mr Menouar Alem,
I am writing to you concerning the recently erupted and reportedly still ongoing lethal violence in Western Sahara.
I have received deeply worrying news that during recent days lethal force has been used as the state security forces have broken down protests at a camp in Laayoune. In addition to dozens of people being injured, according to reports, at least 13 people have been killed. According to my understanding the situation remains tense and volatile.
It appears that the Moroccan security forces have entered the Gadaym Izik camp, outside Laayoune, and used force in trying to make people leave. I have understood that the camp was home to over 20.000 people.
To prevent any further loss of lives, I respectfully appeal to the Moroccan authorities that it is imperative that any use of force or legal force by the security forces be seized immediately.
As the tension and protest have escalated, I remain most alarmed that no access to the area by the independent observers and media has not been granted. I furthermore appeal to the Moroccan authorities to ensure access without delay.
I hope to discuss the matter with you at the first opportunity and look forward to hearing from you soon.