267 organisations ask European Parliament to reject fish accord
A large coalition of European and Western Sahara groups asks the European Parliament not to pay Morocco to fish in the waters it occupies. 16.189 individuals have joined the letter, including thousands of refugees from Western Sahara.
“We request the EU to work within the framework of international peace, and to support the UN’s efforts to negotiate a solution to the conflict. The Saharawi people have the right to be heard. No further EU fisheries operations should take place in Western Sahara until a peaceful solution to the conflict has been found”, states the letter directed to the European Parliament today.
The letter will today be sent to the political parties of the European Union, asking them to not accept a fisheries agreement with Morocco covering the waters of occupied Western Sahara.
267 organisations and 16.189 individuals are among the signatories. Among the signatories are organisations such as political parties, environmental groups (e.g. Greenpeace International), and trade unions.
Half of the individuals signed over the course of this week: Most of those are refugees that have left Western Sahara as the territory was invaded territory by Morocco. See examples of these signature leaflets below. These refugees receive fish donated as humanitarian aid once a month. The vote on 10 December will consider whether the occupying power Morocco will be paid 160 million Euros for European access to the fish that these Saharawis own.
Some supporters of the fish deal claim that a fisheries accord between Morocco and the EU is to the Saharawis own interest. However, all known Saharawi groups have joined this request to the European Parliament stating it is not.
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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