This vessel provoked the Moroccan police
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The oil tanker Purple Gem is said to have carried a Saharawi flag upon entering the port of El Aaiun this week. Then the Moroccan police intervened.
Published: 21.06 - 2009 20:24Printer version    
According to reports Western Sahara Resource Watch have received from a Sahrawi group in occupied Western Sahara, the oil tanker Purple Gem carried the flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic upon entering the port of El Aaiun beginning of this week.

purple_gem2_350.jpgThe Moroccan police is said to have acted rapidly when they discovered the flag, and ordered the crew to remove it. The above photo is taken shortly afterwards.

Waiving the Sahrawi flag in Western Sahara is forbidden by law. No state in the world recognises Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. Some three quarters of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975.

Some 80 states have on the other hand recognised the Sahrawi Arabi Democratic Republic.

The 119 meter long tanker is Malta registered, with IMO number 9403827. When arriving Western Sahara, the ship had a Ukrainian and Turkish crew.

Purple Gem has now left Sahrawi waters. She was last observed in the port of Mohamedia, in Morocco proper, on 21 June 2009.

    

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