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Western Sahara: Human Rights

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2010, Official Report, column 116W, on Western Sahara: human rights, what matters relating to human rights were included in Christopher Ross’s briefing of the Security Council on 18 February 2010. (325107)

Ambassador Ross’s briefing to the UN Security Council of 18 February included some background on a recent exchange of allegations between the parties over human rights.

The issue of whether to include human rights monitoring in the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara mandate was raised by Security Council members during the discussions that followed Ross’s briefing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will request HM Ambassador in Rabat to raise with the Moroccan authorities the case of Rachid Sghir, a Saharawi human rights activist. (325113)

This is the first inquiry we have received about the case of Rachid Sghir. UK based media reporting alleges he was mistreated by the Moroccan police after speaking to the BBC. We have had no further reporting on this case.

Officials at our embassy in Rabat will continue to monitor the human rights situation in the disputed territory of Western Sahara and raise our concerns with the Moroccan authorities through our regular dialogue and in partnership with our EU colleagues.