The Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), based in Ireland, and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) released on, 6 September 2019, an open letter to Messe Berlin GmbH, the organiser of the leading Fruit Logistica trade show, and its Ombudsperson.
The letter addresses allegations of illegal conduct by one of the show’s exhibitors and Messe’s responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in relation to their hosting of this business.
The French company ‘Azura Group’ exports tomatoes from occupied Western Sahara to Europe.
GLAN and ECCHR write in a release that Messe Berlin had responded poorly to a request earlier this year to make the fair stop promoting Azura, and that the two groups therefore proceeded to publish the correspondence.
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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.