Friday, 11 September 2009

FEATURE #2 "September 7th Vigil for Oxford Six"

"September 7th Vigil: the ongoing tragedy of the Oxford Six”

As part of the DESERTED event last week Monday, we remembered 17 years of ceasefire between the Moroccan military and the POLISARIO Front. Imposed by the United Nations and reinforced by the UN-delegated MINURSO, the ceasefire was supposed to put a hold onto the 16 years of violence between the two parties and allow the time and space to develop a resolution of the dispute.

Seventeen years later, there cannot be talk about peace and end of violence. In recent years, human rights violations and abuses have become public (to those who went looking): beatings, random abductions, detentions, rapes and disappearances.

More recently, on the occasion of Talk Together, a youth exchange programme in Oxford, a group of six Sahrawi students aged between 16 and 24 were about the board the plane to the UK to participate in these talks, when they were stopped and detained, questioned and held for 36 hours. Reports reached us about repeated beatings, abductions, threats made to the students and their families.

On September 7th, in solidarity with the "Oxford Six" and the Sahrawi refugees, we lit six floating candles and set them off along the canal of Camden Lock.

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