In response to the head of the Algerian delegation Soufiane Mimouni’s provocative statements at the C24 seminar about alleged human rights violations in Morocco, including in its southern provinces, Ambassador Omar Hilale exposed the catastrophic situation of human rights in Algeria and in the Tindouf camps. In this regard, Hilale confronted the Algerian diplomat with the multiple statements of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on what she described as a serious deterioration of the human rights situation in Algeria, adding that “no country has ever been cited as many times in recent years by the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, as Algeria.” The UN official condemned the arbitrary detention of 2,500 people last year, the unjust trials of 1,000 Algerian citizens and the forced disappearances of leaders and participants of the Hirak. No country has been pinpointed by as many independent experts and UN human rights mechanisms as Algeria, he noted. “The Algerian representative should know that when he falsely denigrates the situation in the Moroccan Sahara, he is expressly attacking Morocco”, he said. Ambassador Hilale stated that “Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other international organizations as well as UN mechanisms have published reports that reveal the mass and systematic violations of human rights in these camps and reaffirm Algeria’s direct responsibility.” He referred to the conclusions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee which stated two years ago that “Algeria is responsible, as a host country, for human rights violations that are perpetrated on its territory.” The Moroccan diplomat also denounced Algeria’s refusal of the registration of the populations in captivity in the Tindouf camps, in violation of its international obligations and Security Council resolutions. “Algeria has opposed registration for more than four decades, because it simply does not want the world to know the number of these populations. It uses the Tindouf camps as a symbol of the persistence of a conflict,” he said. Reacting to the absurd accusation by the Algerian representative that Morocco imposes the law of silence in the Moroccan Sahara, Ambassador Hilale corrected him by giving the example of separatist members who move freely from the Moroccan Sahara to Algiers and the University of indoctrination in Boumerdes, and to the camps in Tindouf. “Morocco has extended 14 open invitations to UN human rights experts to conduct visits to Morocco, including the Sahara. How many has Algeria made?” he asked. In response to the Algerian representative’s statement concerning “the non-respect by Morocco of international law in the Sahara”, the Moroccan diplomat asked “When Algeria forces a conflict on Morocco, for 45 years by a separatist group, is this not a serious violation of international law? Is it not a violation of the UN Charter? Is it not a violation of the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union?” “It is the worst violation of international law,” he added, noting that Algeria diverts humanitarian assistance intended for the populations of the Tindouf camps, as evidenced by the report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
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