Algeria, Polisario slammed in Geneva for blatant human rights violations in Tindouf camps
The Algerian regime and its puppet, the polisario front, have been slammed for the massive violations of human rights, humanitarian atrocities and summary executions committed in the Tindouf camps against the background of the Sahara conflict.
The harsh criticism was voiced during a symposium held in Geneva on the sidelines of the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), by the NGO “Promotion of Economic and Social Development” (PDES) and “the International Observatory for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights – Geneva” (IOPDHR-GENEVA).
The participants in the symposium on Violations of the right to life: the systematic nature of arbitrary executions committed by the Polisario and the responsibility of the host country, Algeria, underlined that since the settlement of the Tindouf camps in southwestern Algeria, the Algerian security services and the Polisario front have committed massive violations of human rights.
Although the Polisario has acknowledged that human rights violations have occurred in the past, it has not provided clear data relating to enforced disappearances, abductions, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, torture in detention centers, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, according to the organizers.
The Polisario remains an organization escaping all control, despite the serious crimes and violations it has committed since its creation. Indeed, the Polisario has made the Tindouf camps a platform to order kidnappings, lootings and arbitrary detention, and terrorist attacks, causing thousands of victims, not only among the residents of the Tindouf camps, but also in Mauritania, Mali, South Korea, France, Spain and Morocco. Thus, the Polisario’s armed operations, on land or at sea, against boats and ships near the coasts of neighboring countries, resulted in hundreds of victims.
Nearly five decades of violations and inhuman treatment, the most significant of which having been torture and arbitrary executions, have passed by in total impunity, where the Algerian recourse mechanisms, the only authority responsible for investigating all violations committed on its territory, refused to process or examine any file relating to the violations committed by the Polisario.
The Polisario, was imposed by the Algerian authorities to carry out its role in the management of the affairs of the camps, in violation of the provisions of international law, benefiting from the immunity and protection of the host country, regardless of the gravity of violations, escaping the control of the UN mechanisms concerned with the protection of human rights.
Although the right to life is guaranteed by article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, exceptional circumstances, including a state of war, the threat of war, internal political instability or any other emergency situation, cannot be invoked to justify extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
However, the Polisario has continued, for decades, to flagrantly violate the right to life through arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, while inciting violence and murders, through successive calls by its leadership and media outlets calling for escalation, resistance and struggle on all fronts. In this context, the Polisario exploits and mobilizes women and children to export violence and murder outside the camps, as the only way to intimidate its detractors.
The symposium urged Algeria to implement its national laws throughout Algerian territory, including the Tindouf camps, calling Algerian authorities to carry out a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of extrajudicial execution, in order to determine with certainty the causes, and the moment of death, the persons responsible, as well as the circumstances in which it was committed.
It also called on the competent authorities to take the necessary measures to prevent cases of excessive use of force against defenseless refugees, and to sue the perpetrators and instigators of these violations in fair trials, while denouncing as illegal the delegation of powers from the Algerian State to the Polisario in the management of the Tindouf camps, in flagrant violation of the rules of international law.
It likewise called for the recognition of refugee status for the residents of the Tindouf camps, with the obligation for the host country, Algeria, to register them, in application of the relevant Security Council resolutions, and in accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees and its Optional Protocol.
The Symposium which appealed to the international community to move forward to hold the Polisario accountable for the massive violations committed against the residents of the camps, as a non-State entity and an armed group, denounced the phenomenon of forced recruitment of children, adolescents and young people into the army, and their indoctrination to the ideology of militias and hate speech, violence and propaganda war.
It also drew the attention of the international community to the direct threat to security and peace in the region and the neighborhood due to the nexus between the separatist front and terrorism and connivance with armed groups and terrorists and urged the international community to intervene to dismantle the camps, find peaceful ways of dialogue and guarantee the refugees the right of return.