Many injured in protest against EU/Spain fish plans in Western Sahara
Article image

Several Saharawis were injured by Moroccan police in a demonstration against the EU's plans to fish in occupied Western Sahara, Saturday evening. European Parliament will on Tuesday vote on an illegal fisheries agreement with Morocco, covering the occupied territory. The local people of Western Sahara are frustrated, not having been consulted as the UN and international law require.

Published 07 December 2013

Photo above: Injured on the street following demonstration against EU plans to fish in occupied Western Sahara, 7 Dec 2013. 

In a demonstration at 6PM this evening, 7 December, Saharawis took to the Smara Street of El Aaiun, Western Sahara, in protest over the EU's plans to exploit the territory's fish resources. Police intervened and injured several of them. 

"As the demonstrators were shouting slogans, hordes Moroccan police officers came running towards them. Several were beaten. One old man in his sixties, a block down from where I was, was beaten on the head with a baton", stated Hodan Gulaid from Norway visiting the city. 

She witnessed the demonstration herself, in the same street as she was in El Aaiun. 

"The police came storming out of police cars. People here seem highly frustrated over the EU's plans, and that the EU has not sought their consent upon negotiating this agreement", she said. The first Saharawi reports enlists more than a dozen injured. Some were taken to the hospital of El Aaiun.

The demonstrators shouted slogans and carried banners against the EU fishing plans. High resolution videos can be downloaded here (Vid1, Vid2, Vid3), free use. 

 



Western Sahara is not part of Morocco. But Morocco exploits the resources of the territory as if they were their own. Through attracting the EU to fish in Western Sahara, the Moroccan government will not only earn 160 million Euros, but will also score political points. Morocco has explicitly stated that such deal is most of all a political importance to them. Morocco's occupation of parts of Western Sahara has been condemned by the UN. 

According to the UN, the people of the territory must consent to deals in the territory of Western Sahara for such agreements to be legal. 

However, the European Commission has signed a fisheries agreement with Morocco which will be applied in Western Sahara waters. At no point during the negotiations did they take the Saharawi people into account. The final decision is with the European Parliament. 

All Saharawi organisations (illegal, since such organisations hare not allowed by Morocco) have written to the EU to request them to not fish in their waters. They state they do not wish it, nor that it is to their interest.

So far, the protests against the EU's illegal have been of a peaceful nature. This week, some 10.000 Saharawi refugees in Algeria lined up to sign a letter to the European Parliament. There have been demonstrations in both the refugee camps and in the occupied territories the past weeks. 

The EU will vote on whether or not to ignore the rights of the Saharawi people on 10 December - the Human Rights Day. 

Several high profile people, such as the President of the Pan-African Parliament, and the former UN legal counsel stress that the EU through such deal undermines the UN peace efforts in the territory. 

The images below are for free use, but to be credited 'Equipe Media'. Click on each image for high resolution version:
 

fpa_demo1_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo2_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo3_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo4_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo6_609.jpg



 

4724fpa_demo12_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo13_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo10_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo11_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo15_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo16_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo7_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo8_609.jpg



 

fpa_demo9_609.jpg


 

Importer in Brazil stops conflict rock purchases

The Chinese company China Molybdenum - which imported phosphate rock to its subsidiary in Brazil - will no longer purchase phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. 

14 October 2021

Siemens Gamesa insists that occupied Western Sahara is Morocco

The Spanish company today, yet again, refers to the territory as part of Morocco.

07 October 2021

Report: Morocco uses green energy to embellish its occupation

By 2030, half of Morocco's wind energy production could be generated illegally in occupied Western Sahara. Yet, Morocco presents itself as best-in-class on the energy transition. 

06 October 2021

Enel failed the test

The Italian company Enel is one of the firms that have taken the exact same approach as the EU when carrying out ‘stakeholder consultations' in Western Sahara - a procedure now found invalid by the EU Court of Justice. 

05 October 2021