The Turkish vessel 'Yasa Emirhan' arrives berth MP 1 at Northport, New Zealand on 23d of August 2008, to discharge phosphate from occupied Western Sahara.
The carrier is owned by the Turkish shipping company, Yasa Shipping.
A sister vessel of 'Yasa Emirhan', the 'Yasa H. Mehmet' (call sign TVVG5), owned by the same shipping company, carried out a shipment of the same Saharan phosphate rock to the Mexican impoter Innhophos in August 2006. The Yasa H. Mehmet then stopped over on the Canary Islands to bunker.
The shipments have taken place in violation of the wishes of the people of Western Sahara, the Sahrawis. Morocco, the illegal occupier of Western Sahara, earns billions of dollars a year on the controversial trade.
After discharging in Northport, 'Yasa Emirhan' continues to Port of Napier (agent: GS) on 25th of August 2008 to download more, and then continues towards Bluff (agent: Bain) on the 26th, where she arrives on the 29th.
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.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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