Está en la página 1de 1

Finnish officials do not give recognition to Sahrawi ethnic background

Ali Lahcen Elaabed, who campaigns for Western Saharas independence in Finland, has undertaken today a hunger strike to convince the Finnish officials to register him as a citizen of Western Sahara instead of Morocco. Ali Lahcen was born in the city of Smara, in the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara. Today Ali Lahcen Elaabed received a second negative decision for his asylum application, and he will be deported to Western Saharan territory, illegally occupied by Morocco. According to Finnish officials, his destination of deportation is Morocco. Ali Lahcen Elaabed arrived in Finland on December 14 th 2009, after escaping the intimidation of Moroccan police. During the asylum seeking process, he has stayed in Pudasjrvi reception centre. He has expected the recognition of his ethnicity since his arrival. The association Friends of Western Sahara in Finland is concerned about the deportation of Ali Lahcen, and the fact that Finnish government officials do not recognise his ethnic background (Sahrawi). We believe that Ali Lahcen has a right to asylum in Finland on humanitarian grounds. We demand that the Finnish State recognise the ethnic background of Ali Lahcen, and takes action on his case in order for him to end his hunger strike. There is a high likelihood that Ali Lahcen will be harassed by Moroccan officials on his return, as he has been active in the Sahrawi independence movement. He has already once been incarcerated for his activities in 1999. The state of human rights in Western Sahara is abysmal, and Moroccan law prohibits all public activity that can be interpreted as supporting the independence of Western Sahara. For example, public display of the flag of Western Sahara is forbidden. The conflict in Western Sahara has not been getting international state level attention, even though there is a serious human rights problem. Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony that Marocco has illegally occupied since 1975, when Spain abandoned the area. The Sahrawi are the natives of Western Sahara. According to the UN statement, Morocco has no historical connection to the area. There have been several attempts to negotiate Moroccan retreat, but Morocco has not complied. The area has large phosphate deposits, and regional waters are good fishing areas. An estimated 160000 Sahrawis live in Algerian refugee camps dependent on UN aid. The Friends of Western Sahara Finland has been active since 2011 and registered as a voluntary association in 2012. The aim of the association is to promote a fair solution to Western Saharan conflict and find solutions to improve the humanitarian situation in Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria.

También podría gustarte