Western Sahara. Twenty-four Western Saharians were
sentenced in February to lengthy prison sentences for
interference with violence in connection with the Moroccan
forces in 2010 storming the Gadaym Izik protest camp near
the unofficial capital of Western Sahara in El-Aaiún. The
convicted lawyers reported that they had suffered "inhuman
treatment" in the detention center.
UN envoy Christopher Ross visited Western Sahara in March
and met both local civilian leaders and Mohamed Abdelaziz,
president of the self-proclaimed Saharan Arab Democratic
Republic (SADR). In connection with the visit, a series of
demonstrations were held which, according to Abdelaziz, were
brutally beaten down as soldiers, among others. tore the
clothes of female protesters and threatened them with rape.
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on
April 25 to extend a resolution extending the mandate of
MINURSO (UN Monitoring Force for Western Sahara) to 2014.
Ross had recommended that the force should also monitor
respect for human rights, but Morocco, which had a place
among The Security Council's non-permanent members, it