According to the Arabic news paper Al-Quds on 9 March 2016, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, declared in a hearing in the UN Human Rights Council last week that he wanted to visit Morocco this year, after an invitation from Morocco.
Mendez stated he was awaiting the agenda and date of the visit from the Moroccan authorities.
But according to Moroccan sources quoted by Al-Quds, Mendez will not be able to make that visit.
Moroccan officials is said to have communicted to Mendez that such a visit can only be organised after October, because the dates proposed by Mendez are innoportune. First, Morocco needs to celebrate a period of the elections and ramadan. The next rapporteur on torture whoud could possibly do a trip to Morocco would thus not be Mendez.
The Moroccan ambassador to Geneva met Mendez on the side of the 31st session of the Human Rights Douncil in Geneva.
In October Mendez is ending his term as UN Special Rapporteur of Torture.
Mendez visited Western Sahara and Morocco in 2012, publishing his findings in 2013. Mendez's report was highly critical to the use of torture against people under detention.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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