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Morocco/Western Sahara
28.03.01
Urgent Interventions

Morocco: Hindrance to freedom of movement

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

MAR 001/0301/OBS 027
Hindrance to freedom of movement
MOROCCO
28 March 2001

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of FIDH and OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Morocco :

Description of the facts :

The Observatory has been informed that 2 members of the « Forum for Truth and Justice – Sahara Section » (« Forum Vérité et Justice – section Sahara ») who were invited to attend the 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and accredited by the FIDH, were intercepted by the Moroccan police on 24 March 2001 in the international zone of Casablanca airport. They were on the point of boarding a plane for Geneva, where they were expected. They had obtained their visas for Switzerland the day before.

The persons concerned are Mr. Noumri Brahim, ex-Sahraoui missing person from 1987 to 1991, freed from the secret detention centre of Kalaat M’Gouna, bearer of passport No. M 542832, and Mr. Elhamed Mahmoud, bearer of passport No. M 755551.

During this intervention, the police confiscated the passports of Messrs. Noumri and Elhamed. Furthermore, their personal belonging and documents on video, computer disks and paper, which they were to produce before the Commission on Human Rights were also seized. No reason was given to the persons in question, other than instructions received by the police not to permit them to leave the territory.

After their release a few hours later, Messrs. Noumri and Elhamed had to spend the night in the airport. Even though their passports were returned to them the next day, instructions were issued by the Moroccan National Security services, forbidding Messrs. Noumri and Elhamed from leaving Moroccan territory.

The Observatory points out that these actions are in blatant contradiction with the Declaration on Defenders of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1998, in particular, Article 9, paragraph 4 which enshrines the right of each person « individually or in association with others, without hindrance, to apply to competent international bodies in general or in particular, to receive and examine communications concerning Human Rights and to correspond freely with these bodies ».

Action requested :

Kindly write to the Moroccan authorities requesting them to :

i. Immediately take all necessary measures so that the documents confiscated be returned forthwith to Messrs. Noumri and Elhamed and all obstacles hindering their freedom of movement be removed, so that they can come to Geneva as soon as possible.

ii. Comply with the Declaration on Defenders of Human Rights, in particular, Article 1 which states that « each person has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realisation of human rights et fundamental liberties at national and international levels » as well as Article 9, paragraph 4 mentioned above.

iii. Comply, more generally, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and regional and international instruments binding on Morocco.

Addresses :

H.H. King Mohammed VI. Ibn Al Hassan, King of Morocco, Palais Royal, Rabat, Morocco.Fax : (+ 212 7) 73 07 72.

H.E. Mr. Abderrahmane El Youssoufi, Prime Minister, Bureau du Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et de la Coopération, Palais Royal, Rabat, Morocco. Fax (+ 212 7) 76 99 95 // 76 91 95 or 77 68 37H.E.

Mr. Ahmed Midaoui, Minister of the Interior, Quartier Administratif, Rabat, Morocco. Fax : (+212 7) 76 20 56 / 76 20 64

H.E. Mr. Omar Azziman, Minister of Justice and of Human Rights Palais de la Manounia, Rabat, Morocco. Fax: (+212 7) 73 07 72 / 73 89 40 / 73 27 10 / 73 07 08 /

Mr. Driss Dahak, Président du Conseil Consultatif des Droits de l’Homme (CCDH), Place des Chouhada, B.P. 1341, Rabat, Morocco. Fax: (+212 7) 72 68 56

Mr Fouad Ali El Himma, Secrétaire d'État à l'Intérieur, Ministère de l'Intérieur, Quartier Administratif, Rabat, Morocco. Fax: (+ 212 7) 76 20 56 / 76 64 89 / 76 68 61

Paris - Geneva, 28 March 2001

Thank you for informing the Observatory of any action taken, quoting the code of this appeal.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT is a venture dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: Fax: + 033 (0) 1 55 80 83 92Tel: FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 - OMCT +41 22 809 49 39E-mail: observatoire@iprolink.ch
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