"We were denied to stay in both Western Sahara and in all of Southern Morocco", says the President of the Red Youth Norway, Linn-Elise Øhn Mehlen over phone to the Support Committee for Western Sahara. Together with nine other members of the Red Youth she tried to travel to the territory that has been under moroccan occupation since 1975. The group were unsuccessful.
"We are now on our way to Tiznit further north in Morocco, as this was the only option given to us by the moroccan police", says Mehlen.
The last year Morocco has thrown out UN-troops, and refused both Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Special Envoy to visit the occupied territories. Foreign visitors are receiving the same treatment. Meanwhile, the local population are subjected to grave human rights violations committed by the authorities.
"We long tried to get some answers to why we were not allowed to continue driving, but had to give up when we realised they were about to confiscate our phones", explains Secretary General Anja Ariel Tørnes Brekke.
When the Support Committee was in contact with the group, they were having dinner at a café on the side of the road.
"At the moment the surveillance is heavy. They are driving back and forth past where we are sitting", says Brekke.
Their car was pulled over around 18:30 near the town Bouizakarne and ordered to turn around and drive in the direction of Sidi Ifni. After one and a half hours were they again stopped, this time in a police checkpoint and were denied to continue. The same experience was reported by a delegation earlier the same day from other youth politicians.
The Red Youth Norway Delegation consists of:
Linn-Elise Øhn Mehlen, President
Tobias Lund, Kragerø, Vice Precident
Anja Ariel Tørnes Brekke, Stavanger, Secretary General
Tale Ellingvåg, Kragerø, Member of National Board
Kristine Sørheim, Ringsaker, Member of National Council
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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