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Moroccan forces put the occupied town of El Aaiun into lock-down




The Moroccan forces of occupation proceeded on Monday evening to close off the principal streets leading to the town of El Aaiun (Western Sahara) on the eve of the arrival of the ad hoc mission from the European Parliament to Western Sahara, a source of the Ministry for the Occupied Territories and the Diaspora reported.

The same source also pointed out the large redeployment of Moroccan information services in the various arteries of the town, held under patrols of the forces of repression which line the popular quarters, notably Hay Maatallah, in order to prevent any demonstration calling for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people, they added.

These same forces, some disguised in plainclothes, proceeded to surveillance of the homes of Saharawi human rights defenders, the same source underlined.

Elsewhere, Saharawi human rights activists were arrested, such as El Hafed Toubali who underwent interrogation relating to the agenda of the meeting with the ad hoc mission of the European Parliament.

The joint delegation of the Ad Hoc Delegation and the Maghreb Delegation, respectively chaired by Mr Joannis Kassoulides, MEP and former Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Carlos Uturgaiz, MEP and president of the Maghreb delegation arrived on Tuesday in El Aaiun where it met several Saharawi NGOs, human rights defenders, victims of repression and members of the families of disappeared Saharawis.

The delegation had been set up at the end of the resolution of 27 October 2005, with its mission to inquire into the human rights situation in Western Sahara and to report back to the European Parliament.

Since 2005, the Moroccan authorities using manoeuvres and arguing on false pretexts, have attempted by every means to stop the visit of the Ad Hoc Delegation to the occupied territories of Western Sahara where terror and repression hold sway amongst Saharawi populations, said the Minister Counselor to the President of the Saharawi Republic, Mr Mohamed Sidati.