Rabat – Members of the European Parliament have urged the European Union to take urgent actions to end the unbearable living conditions of women in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria.
The MEPs denounced the “unacceptable, “scandalous,” and “deplorable” situation of Sahrawi women in the camps, victims of Polisario abuses ‘“ with the complicity of Algeria.”
The condemnation took place at the European Parliament on a petition presented by Spanish activist Elisa Pavon on behalf of the “Freedom is their right” campaign, a collective representing foster and adoptive families in Spain.
The MEPs condemned forced marriages, deprivation of liberty, ill-treatment, and torture imposed on women in Tindouf camps in Algeria. The MEPs are calling on the Algerian and Spanish government to take action to end the situation, given that several girls have Spanish citizenship.
The representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) said the issue is of particular importance for the European executive, advocating a coordinated approach with Spain and the EU delegation in Algeria.
Spanish MEP Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea denounced the “lies of the Polisario” who “defends the indefensible” by justifying the deprivation of freedom imposed on these girls under the guise of the traditions of the Sahrawi society.
“Traditions should not take precedence over fundamental rights,” said Spanish MEP Ayala Sender, calling for pressure on the front to restore freedom to girls.
MEP Rosa Estaràs reiterated her colleagues’ comments, emphasizing that these girls are held by force and deprived of their passports and freedom.
Estaràs also warned against any attempt to justify the “ill-treatment” of the victims.
MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras questioned the European Commission on what it intends to do to protect these girls, while demanding they clarify whether Algeria or Polisario is responsible.
On May 20, Morocco urged the UN bodies to open an investigation into the situation in the ¨Polisario-run Tindouf camps in Algeria, where Moroccan nationals are ‘held against their will’ in an unbearable and ‘inhuman conditions.’”
Last March Morocco’s Head of Affairs in Geneva, Hassan Boukili, condemned Algeria’s continued ignoring of the Sahrawi people living in Tindouf camps.
Speaking at the 71st session of the Standing Committee of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Boukili also criticized Algeria and its reluctance to “oppose the implementation of all feasible solutions for the populations in the Tindouf camps.”