Western Sahara Resources Watch issued a report at the end of August warning that Morocco plans to build over 1000 megawatts of renewable energy plants in Western Sahara, and has been unloading construction material for this purpose this summer.
Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975, and the consent of the original inhabitants is legally required for this kind of development.
On 14 September, the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) released a report on Western Sahara, stating: ‘In 2013, hundreds of Sahrawi have been persecuted and detained for participating in and organizing peaceful protests. While detained, many have suffered torture, beatings, interrogations, and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.’
According to the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders, as of August 2013, there were 59 Sahrawi political prisoners in Moroccan jails, 17 of whom were human rights defenders. The RFK Centre reported that: ‘Since April 2013, four Sahrawi common law prisoners have died in Ait Melloul [prison] due to poor conditions, maltreatment and a lack of medical care: Mohammed Borhimi, May 7; Abdelmalek Abdessamed, May 17; Hicham Lasfar, June 19; and most recently, Ambarak Almotawakil, August 2.’