Western Sahara, Morocco, United States discussed on Democracy Now! Audio

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

World's longest minefield and built the second longest wall honor with the help of US weapons companies Northrop and Westinghouse the nearly seventeen hundred mile wall, divides Sahara's who remain under occupation. From those who fled into exile. The Moroccan government began decades of torture disappearances killings and repression. Against pro independence, Harare's living in the occupying territory in nineteen ninety one the UN sponsor to cease fire and promise a heroic referendum on self-determination organized by its peacekeeping mission known as manure so since then Morocco has blocked attempts to organize the vote and the UN Security Council has refused to implement its own referendum plan or allow manure. So to monitor the human rights situation in the territory today. No country recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, one of the most inaccessible places in the world. And the international media has largely ignored the patient in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late two thousand sixteen democracy now, successfully broke the news blockade, we were in Marrakech Morocco for the United Nations climate change conference with u n credentials and US passports. We decided to take a chance and attempt to do what? No foreign television crew has done in years report. From Africa's last colony. Goodness's democracy now, we've just landed in the capital of Western Saharan. Africa's last colony hoping to the port of occupied by for more than four years at the airports. Now, we'll see what. I'm speaking quietly on the plane because journalists even western journalists are rarely allowed into Western Sahara. We don't know if this is the moment will be turned back as so many others have been maybe it's the UN press badges around our necks. Maybe it's our US passports. Or maybe it's just that are arrival was so unexpected. But after a check of our documents and a few questions, we're wave through customs. Outside the airport. We climb into a car driven by Jamal our translator and guy. Nice to meet so who are the plain clothes officers at the airport. Those is to with you officers. Some of them belonged to different department Jamal says we've been observed by local police, the Moroccan secret service and intelligence agents felucca lightning. The airport is so growth villa nearby. This walk. We arrive at the hotel saw one knowing that the receptionist is obliged to inform the police of our presence. We check in quickly and immediately prepared to interview Sahara activists in one of our rooms. We don't know how many hours or minutes will have to record before the thirties arrive soon, a small contingent of Sahara's enters or first interview is with journalists Muhammed Myra he speaks in hushed tones about the torture and murder his family faced at the hands of the Moroccan afforest. He's my father was among. Four brothers were kidnapped Cleveland moral convicted the western south so was voiced in February twenty seventh TNC two six. That was two months. Was kidnapped and then they send him to succeed shelves. Well, known by the hall was added insult of Morocco. His spend one year and six months and was killed in to what kind of risk. Do you? Take speaking tool western journalists like me, I have. Adore thought as souvenirs old so old Halloween when she asked me to. About my father. So tell her that my father was getting up and tortured Dixit, but I tried to catch that one day. I wouldn't be our feast. Fate. So I'm always waiting. Why do you take that risk? Because I think these things. Detail freedom. The work of Muhammad Myra citizen journalist group, it keeps media is documented in the film, three stolen cameras. It shows the gruesome fate, the Sahara cameramen who was pushed off a rooftop by police after he was spotted filming a bloody crackdown on a peaceful protests..

Coming up next