Since beginning for 2010, the US lobby firm K&L Gates has been carrying out lobbying in Washington regarding “United States policy and trade relations with Morocco that may affect economic conditions in Western Sahara” on behalf of a firm that imports phosphates from the occupied territory.
Today, WSRW asked the Chairman of K&L Gates to halt its partnership with Innophos, and to clarify what role they have played in lobbying the Western Sahara issue in the US, as well as what they have done to find out whether the trade is according to the wishes of the Saharawi people.
"We do not think K&L Gates LLP wishes to be associated with the highly unethical robbery of the oppressed Sahrawi people. The phosphate belongs to the Sahrawis, not to Morocco, nor to your client", stated the WSRW letter to K&L Gates.
The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, requires those who have registered as lobbyists to file quarterly activity reports with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Secretary of the U.S. Senate.
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 five 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.