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African Commission on
Human and Peoples' Rights

Statement by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Trial and Sentencing of Twenty-Five Sahrawi Civilians by a Military Court in Morocco

The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (the Commission) is deeply concerned about the trial and sentencing of twenty-five (25) Sahrawi civilians by a military court in Rabat, Morocco from 8-16 February 2013.

The Commission is particularly concerned that the trial took place in a military court without the guarantee of an appeal process: a core element of internationally accepted safeguards of fair trial.

The Commission reaffirms its commitment, in line with its mandate to promote and protect human rights on the African continent, to ensure that the rights of all Sahrawi, wherever they may be, are respected.

To that end, the Commission calls on the United Nations Security Council to give the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) a human rights mandate as it is the case in most UN missions.

In the same regard, the Commission recalls its Resolution ACHPR/Res.45 (XXVII) 00 on Western Sahara of 11 May 2000, and calls on the International Community to speedily resolve the question of the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi People. 

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 23 February 2013.