Independent human rights monitoring is a key tool in the fight against human rights abuses.
MINURSO, the UN mission in Western Sahara, is the only contemporary peacekeeping mission without a mandate to monitor human rights.
Human rights organisations, including Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch, and the POLISARIO have repeatedly called for human rights monitoring in the region. This has been blocked by the Moroccan authorities.
The renewal of MINURSO’s mandate in April provides a key opportunity to implement this.
1. Write to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon:
• Thanking him for his action in the case of Aminatou Haidar and welcoming his comments on the need for a settlement on the issue.
• Emphasising the human rights abuses against those who peacefully oppose the Moroccan occupation - in particular the case of the 7 prisoners of conscience currently awaiting trial, who may face the death penalty.
• Stating that MINURSO is the only contemporary peacekeeping Mission without a mandate to monitor human rights.
• Calling on him to establish an independent mechanism for human rights monitoring
• Insisting that a referendum which includes the option of independence is implemented without delay.
2. Make sure your country supports human rights monitoring.
Contact your MP, ask them to write to your Foreign Office Minister:
• Explaining the human rights abuses against those who peacefully oppose the Moroccan occupation.
• Stating that MINURSO is the only contemporary peacekeeping Mission without a mandate to monitor human rights and;
• If your country is a member of the UN Security Council: calling on your country to insist on human rights monitoring whether through the extension of MINURSO’s mandate or through another independent monitoring mechanism.
• If your country is not a member of the Security Council: asking that your country makes a public statement calling for human rights monitoring.
If you are a UK citizen or resident please sign the Downing Street petition.
The UN Security Council
Permanent members of the UN Security Council are: China, France, Russian Federation, UK and US.
Non-permanent members: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon Mexico Nigeria, Turkey and Uganda.
Address for Ban Ki Moon
The Honourable Ban Ki-Moon
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
If possible please send any copies of letters and responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Amnesty International currently has 2 urgent actions on Western Sahara: