These photos were recently taken outside the Sahara Regency Hotel in Dakhla, Western Sahara. The photos shows Qatari guests resting before taking the flight home. The group had just finished a hunting expedition in Western Sahara.
In the front, a group of hunting falcons.
Morocco regularly hosts Qatari guests to kill vulnerable bird species. Their main quarry is the wildly prized Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata), who's conservation status is 'vulnerable'. The same bird has led to diplomatic disputes between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, due to the allocation of hunting rights.
The recent Qatari hunting expedition in Dakhla was described by its members as "excellent" with kills of 200 plus birds per day reported, Western Sahara Resource Watch has been told. As this photo was taken, their staff had to work over time to preserve and pack their trophies ready for shipment.
Also disturbing was the fact they where allowed to import weapons for the protection of their falcons. These were used on one occasion to kill a golden eagle that was disturbing their sport by its presence.
The Qatari visits in occupied Western Sahara is a regular event.
WSRW in 2007 revealed images of a Saudi bird hunt expedition further north in occupied Western Sahara.
The Kingdom of Morocco has been a party of the Convention on Bidiversity since 21 August 1995 by ratification. But Western Sahara is not. It’s still on the United Nations list of non self governing territories.
"At the moment the international community’s eyes are on the violations of human rights by the Moroccan colonial authorities. Morocco imposes severe punishment on every woman, or man, or even child, who insists on the right to self- determination. The kingdom of Morocco blocks WebPages, shields independent observers and evicts international reporters, trying to hide its repressive actions in the colony from the international public. Scientific research as all other forms of independent research is severely impeded. So it is not easy to ascertain how Moroccan colonialism has influenced the country’s biodiversity.", wrote Axel Goldau in 2007 in the report Western Sahara - The destruction of biodiversity by modern colonialism.
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.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
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.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.