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Two Spanish activists hidden in Laayoune say its "genocide"
15/11/2010

   

 

   

Remains of the peace camp in El AauinActivists Isabel Terrace from Spain, and Antonio Velazquez, from Mexico, who have remained hidden from security forces since before the Laayoune conflict erupted, managed to contact Spanish press early on Monday and denounced the "genocide being committed by the Moroccan regime on the Saharawi civilians and urgently request the United Nations and International Red Cross intervene to resolve the conflict".

Through a statement by a video on YouTube (below), which has been backed by Sahrawi resistance organizations and Western Sahara Foundation, both activists denounced having seen at first hand the "violent repression" of the Moroccan security forces against the Saharawi population since the violent eviction of the Izik Agdeim camp last 8 November was evicted, about 15 miles of Laayoune.

"We are witnessing the genocide being committed by the Moroccan regime on the Saharawi civilians now in the capital of Western Sahara," reads the script, in which Velázquez and Terrace indicate that they have been in hiding "for days" to ensure their personal safety.

"They want to find us and want to kill us because we are giving our personal testimony of events to the whole world like this (...) but thousands of Saharawi are in the same situation or worse because Moroccan police and soldiers come, force their way into their homes, and [if they find something they dont like] they tortured and many die from this torture" says Velazquez.

In addition, activists condemned the decision by Rabat to ban the entry to the city of the foreign press, considering that the objective of this measure is "hide these atrocities."

Consequently, Terrace and Velázquez request the "urgent" intervention of the Security Council of United Nations, "to provide an independent voice, and to ensure the human rights of the Saharawi population" and the International Red Cross, "to assist the victims of repression."

"This is an international emergency and requires that all international agencies stop this slaughter," warned the activists, while urging the international community to condemn "the violent attack on civilians in the Moroccan Sahara."

Morocco has consistantly refused to allow any international media or journalists to enter the area and has managed to intercept all such attempts by the press, deporting them immediatly. A Spanish citizen of Sahrawi birth was allegedly killed by Moroccan security forces a few days ago after being targeted for his race according to his family resident in Spain.

Spain rescues two other nationals hidden in Laayoune

Two Spaniards hidden in the city left under police escort late yesterday after Spain negotiated their safe passage with Rabat. Javier Sopeña and Silvia García arrived in Las Palmas early this morning and were greeted by their families at the airport. Both have so far refused to comment on conditions in the city.

Isabel Terrace and Antonio Velazquez are both negotiating safe passage as well, but a offer to leave yesterday along with the other two was refused as they both said they feared for their safety. "We will leave when a consular official comes to pick us up and take us to the airport" they told the Spanish embassy. "If we show ourselves otherwise, we will be arrested and thrown in jail".

Video released early Monday morning by the two activists (in Spanish):

 


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