“On 26th December 2016, the trial of the Gdeim Izik group of Sahrawi political prisoners began. Three further sessions have already been held in January, March and May, and the fifth will begin on 5th June.”

“This judgment must be regarded as a political judgment. There is no evidence or presumption of innocence. The basis of the indictment are documents signed under extreme torture as attested by the UN Committee against Torture's recent ruling in December 2016. There are consistent medical reports that confirm this – all of which have been ignored by the Moroccan authorities.

“The aggressiveness of the Moroccan authorities was more than manifested at the last session with the exclusion of the case and the courtroom of two French defense lawyers. One of them was physically assaulted and who later filed a complaint in France.

“Faced with successive violations of the law, lawyers withdrew themselves from the proceedings. Notwithstanding that the process will continue with new lawyers appointed by the Moroccan authorities, and without any pause to consult or contact their ‘clients’.

“GUE/NGL hereby expresses its full solidarity with the detainees of the Gdeim Izik group and calls on the Moroccan authorities for the release of all prisoners. GUE/NGL expresses its support for the efforts to achieve a just solution for Western Sahara, which must include the realisation of the right to self-determination by the Sahrawi people, in accordance with UN resolutions, the principles of its Charter and international law.”

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