Sahara: MEPs Urge EU to Intervene to End Sufferings of Women Sequestered by Polisario

Several members of the European Parliament have denounced the “appalling”, “inhumane” and “intolerable” situation endured by the Sahrawi women held against their will by the Polisario separatist group, which is armed, funded and sheltered by Algeria.

At a parliamentary debate, the MEPs urged the European Union to intervene immediately to put an end to the sufferings of these defenseless women, victim of all sorts of abuse (physical, mental…), violence and cruelty under the watch of Algerian authorities.

Following a petition submitted by Spanish activist Elisa Pavon on behalf of NGO “Freedom is their right”, a group representing the host families and adoptive families in Spain of fifty girls sequestered by the polisario, the MEPs called on the European Commission to exert pressure on Algeria, which supports the polisario, to ensure the respect of the fundamental rights, including freedom of movement.

During the EU parliamentary committee hearing, the MEPs were shocked and outraged by the horrifying testimonies of forced marriages, kidnapping, ill-treatment and torture of Sahrawi girls. They called for urgent actions to end the tragedy and the unbearable situation of these Sahrawi girls, several of whom having a Spanish nationality.

Taking the floor, the representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) stressed the importance of this issue for the EU and called for a coordinated action and approach in raising this subject-matter with Spanish authorities and the EU Delegation in Algeria.

MEP Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea holds the Polisario secessionists and their Algerian masters responsible for this alarming situation and violation of the universal human rights, depriving Sahrawi girls of their rights to freedom.

These “sequestered” girls are detained by force and deprived of their passports and therefore their freedom of movement, echoed MEP Rosa Estaras Ferragut who condemned the ill-treatment and confinement of these young girls.

She praised the courage of the families who came to Brussels to testify and expose the plight of their daughters deprived of the most basic rights including the right to education.

During the debates, MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras focused on the European Commission’s plan to protect these girls, underlining the direct responsibilities of Algeria and the Polisario armed militias.

The petitioner Elisa Pavon hailed the positive feedback received at the European Parliament by her NGO within the frame of an international campaign seeking justice, dignity and freedom of the Sahrawi girls held against their will in the Tindouf camps in Southern Algeria.

She said some of the Spanish host families have lost all contacts with the Sahrawi girls. They have no idea whether they are dead or alive. But they fear the worst.

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