News

After strict measures for several month, the pandemic has now arrived the vulnerable Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria. 

Published 24 July 20

We compile the latest news about the corona crisis in occupied Western Sahara and in the refugee camps. LATEST: The corona virus has arrived the refugee camps in Algeria. 

Published 07 July 20

After Moroccan settlers in the fisheries industry returned from Morocco to occupied Western Sahara, the number of positive corona patients in the territory has increased with 8250 percent in less than a week. 

Published 26 June 20

“A prison is normally filled with constant noise from all the prisoners. But not Ait Melloul. In Ait Melloul the silence is terrorizing you and only broken by the screams of prisoners getting tortured.” Our new report tells the story of a group of prisoners that the UN asks to be released. 

Published 10 June 20

A vessel transporting Norwegian gas was supposed to arrrive in occupied Western Sahara tomorrow, but has now steered away last minute, as ordered by the exporter in Norway.

Published 06 June 20

Saharawi activists are calling for the investigation of the murder of a student activist, which took place two years ago.  

Published 19 May 20

The Norwegian state-controlled energy company Equinor ‘regrets’ exports of gas into Western Sahara and promises to never do it again. 

Published 10 May 20

This version of www.vest-sahara.no became operational just few days ago. Be patient with us. Until we do the formal launch approx 15 May, things on this site will not necessarily work. Thanks for reporting stuff that don't.

Published 30 April 20

26 Saharawi associations ask for an immediate release of all Saharawi political prisoners, in view of the corona crisis that is hitting Moroccan jails. The appeal includes 230 pages of UN statements on the currently imprisoned activists.

Published 24 April 20

Norwegian minister for foreign affairs, Mrs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, today expressed concern over the situation for imprisoned Saharawi human rights defenders. 

Published 22 April 20
Published 18 April 20

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this week called on Morocco to release a group of Saharawi students, all political prisoners. 

Published 03 April 20

The virus could cause significant damage to the Saharawi people. In fact, it already does. 

Published 16 March 20

A delegation of all Norwegian political youth parties has returned from a one week visit to the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria.  

Published 17 February 20

Former laureate of the Rafto Award for Human Rights, Sidi Mohamed Daddach, was this weekend attacked by Moroccan police in occupied Western Sahara.

Published 16 January 20

A shocking video last year showed Saharawi journalist Walid El Batal pulled out of a car and beaten by Moroccan police. The UN now calls on full investigation.

Published 09 January 20

A French-Norwegian seismic survey vessel has entered Saharawi waters four times. The company behind the exploration blames its Dutch client. 

Published 30 October 19

Human rights defender Aminatu Haidar from Western Sahara is awarded the prestigious Right Livelihood Award in Sweden for 2019, with, among others environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Published 26 September 19
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A judge in occupied Western Sahara today concluded that the verdict in the case against Saharawi journalist Nazha El Khalidi will be announced on 8 July.
Published 24 June 19

The Moroccan ambassador in Oslo stated that Norwegian observers cannot attend trials in Western Sahara, as courtrooms are always closed, including in Norway. The Government of Norway this week stated that this is incorrect.

Published 07 June 19
A judge in occupied Western Sahara today concluded that the verdict in the case against Saharawi journalist Nazha El Khalidi will be announced on 8 July.
Published 20 May 19
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Two international observers accredited by the Norway-based Rafto Foundation for Human Rights were today prevented from entering El Aaiún, Western Sahara.
Published 19 May 19
Two international observers accredited by the Norway-based Rafto Foundation for Human Rights were today prevented from entering El Aaiún, Western Sahara.
Published 19 May 19

Nazha Elkhalidi filmed a street demonstration in December. Now, she is charged, and risks a severe punishment. Here, she is filming her own detention on Facebook Live. Trial tomorrow.

Published 17 March 19
Representatives from all nine political parties at the Norwegian parliament today established a friendship group for Western Sahara.
Published 05 March 19
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The UN working group on Arbitrary Detention asks for the immediate release of human rights defender Mbarek Daoudi. Check our mini-report that gives the context.
Published 15 January 19

In 2015 and 2017, the Norwegian shipping company Spar Shipping transported two large cargos of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara to India. The company announced today that further trade from the territory is out of the question.

Published 11 January 19
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Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs clarifies that the aviation agreement between Norway and Morocco cannot be applied to Western Sahara.
Published 30 December 18
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The small group of states that prepare Western Sahara resolutions for the United Nations Security Council, the so-called 'Group of Friends for Western Sahara', refuses to allow friends of Western-Sahara be included in the group. Foreign Minister Søreide explains.
Published 10 June 18
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The situation for the 19 Saharawi political prisoners known as the 'Gdeim Izik group' is increasingly worrisome.

Published 27 November 17
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Former President-Rapporteur, United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, expresses deep concern after observing the court case against 24 human rights activists from the occupied parts of Western Sahara. 19 of the 24 Saharawis remain in jail.

Published 25 September 17
The detainees withdrew from the proceedings, along with their defense attorneys, on the 16th of May. New witnesses have appeared out of the blue, observers explain.
Published 18 May 17
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The proceedings against the so-called Gdeim Izik political prisoners from occupied Western Sahara is again adjourned, and will recommence on the 8 May at the Court of Appeal in Salé, Morocco.
Published 29 March 17
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Today Cheikh Banga, Eenama Asfari and Mohammed Babait gave their testimonies. Just like the previous days the questions they were asked were in direct violations of the Torture Convention. The court was adjourned until Monday 27th of March.
Published 24 March 17
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On day 10 Hassan Dah, Abdallahi Lakfawni and Mohamed Embarch Lefkir, testified in front of the court. Interruptions and humiliating questions were frequent and the testimonies are in violation of the Torture Convention, says international observer.


Published 22 March 17
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Today Abdallahi Toubali, Sidahmed Lemjeyid and El Bachir Khadda gave their testimonies in front of the court. Toubali was asked to sign two documents with his eyes shut during the testimony. This to prove he was blindfolded while signing his confession.
Published 22 March 17
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Get the latest information about the court case against the Gdeim Izik prisoners from occupied Western Sahara. Continuously updated.
Day 13 of the appeal takes place on 8 May 2017.
Published 17 March 17
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See an account of the January 2017 court case against Saharawi activists at the Moroccan court in Salé.
Published 19 February 17

The affair of the Norwegian fish oil tanker visiting occupied Western Sahara is receiving international attention. 

Published 10 February 17
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Serious flaws were made also in round two of trial against the so-called ‘Gdeim Izik’ Saharawi activists in Morocco. Trial has been postponed until 13 March.
Published 27 January 17
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The leadership of the Red Youth Norway stopped in South of Morocco on their way to the occupied territory.
Published 25 January 17
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The two Norwegians Hans Inge Alander and Diego Alexander Vaula Foss are deported by Moroccan authorities on a flight from the occupied Western Sahara against their will, after having flown in this afternoon.
Published 25 January 17
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At 11:30 PM the two Norwegians Diego Vaula Foss and Hans Inge Alander were told by Moroccan authorities that they are expelled from Morocco - probably because they had met with people from occupied Western Sahara.
Published 25 January 17
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Ten citizens from Lithuania, the Netherlands, Italy, Rwanda, Iran and Norway are now being deported from southern Morocco.
Published 25 January 17
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Leader and international responsible of the Student Parliament of Bergen, Håkon Randgaard Mikalsen and Eirik Lie Reikerås were thrown out of occupied Western Sahara this evening, after landing with a flight from Casablanca.
Published 24 January 17
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A group of youth politicians, from the very right to left in Norwegian political landscape, were refused to travel to Western Sahara at 3PM today by Moroccan police.
Published 24 January 17
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From 21 to 25 January, 57 foreign visitors to Western Sahara have either been stopped right after arrival to occupied Western Sahara or upon trying to enter. All were deported by police.
Published 23 January 17
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A group of six friends, five Norwegians and one Swede, started talking with the wrong people on the bus, according to Moroccan police. As a consequence, they are now being expelled from south Morocco, refused access to occupied Western Sahara.
Published 23 January 17
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Two representatives of the Liberal Youth of Norway were this morning stopped by Moroccan police and escorted out of southern Morocco. The police did not want them to travel to the occupied territory.
Published 23 January 17
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Teodor and Thea from Green Youth of Norway were picked out of the bus they were sitting in, and refused further travel into occupied Western Sahara by Moroccan police.
Published 23 January 17
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A group of Norwegian trade unionists were at midnight refused access to occupied Western Sahara due to the bad weather conditions there.
Published 23 January 17
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The National Union of Students in Norway and the Student Parliament at the University of Trondheim were last night refused access into Western Sahara by Moroccan police.
Published 23 January 17
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Four youth politicians from the The Norwegian Young Conservatives and Christian Democrat Youth (KrFU) of Norway were at 16:30 today stopped by Moroccan police and refused access to occupied western Sahara.
Published 22 January 17
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After having been kicked out of the city of Smara in occupied Western Sahara, a group of four Norwegians has also been ordered to not visit other cities in the occupied territory.
Published 21 January 17
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Eight Moroccan police cars escorted four Norwegians out of the city of Smara, occupied Western Sahara. Police did not want them to meet local Saharawis.
Published 21 January 17
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International secretary of Red Youth of Norway, Peder Østring, and fellow traveller Sofie Brunvoll were at 12:30 today deported from occupied Western Sahara.
Published 21 January 17
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Two dozen Saharawi activists have been jailed for 6 years after demanding socio-economic rights. Join Amnesty's campaign demanding their release.
Published 01 September 16
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The US oil company Kosmos Energy is severely misrepresenting a joint-declaration which the OECD Contact Point in Norway mediated between the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara and the fishing company Sjøvik AS.
Published 27 August 16
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The Norwegian student association SAIH just is_is_published a report on the need of a referendum on independence in Western Sahara.
Published 07 June 16
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Yet again, the Saharawi activist Sultana Khaya has been beaten by Moroccan police.
Published 14 May 16
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The Norwegian insurance company Storebrand has blacklisted both phosphate and oil companies involved in occupied Western Sahara. Among them are the French company Total, which are now back in from the cold after they withdrew from the territory.
Published 25 March 16
20 February 2016, the student organisation of the European Peoples Party (EPP) passed a resolution calling for the right to self-determination in occupied Western Sahara.
Published 18 March 16
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture is warmly welcome to Morocco. But only after October 2016, when he is leaving office.
Published 12 March 16
Former chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mads Andenæs, calls the human rights situation in Western Sahara 'very depressing'.
Published 11 March 16
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Today, the Norwegian government pension fund excluded San Leon Energy Plc from its investment portfolios.
Published 05 March 16
"I feel like I have been on a hybrid between the Roskilde Festival, a survival trip and Dancing with the Stars". Paid by the organisers, a Danish journalist travelled to occupied Western Sahara on business class for the 2015 edition of the controversial Crans Montana Forum.
Published 18 February 16
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Ali Salem Tamek, a well-known human rights defender from Western Sahara, is undertaking an open-ended hunger strike to demand his right to a university education – something he claims the Moroccan government is barring him from.
Published 15 February 16

All 9 Norwegian youth parties today met in front of the Moroccan embassy in Oslo, demanding a referendum on independence for Western Sahara.

Published 04 February 16
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The only foreigner who managed to not be expelled from Western Sahara this week, Kim Runar Gjelstenli, has today been expelled, after Moroccan police entered into the house in which he was hiding.
Published 20 January 16
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Tuesday afternoon, another four Norwegians were denied entry to Western Sahara. The total number of people expelled from Western Sahara - or denied access to the territory - has now reached 67. They received a peculiar explanation.
Published 19 January 16

“Should we go over and talk to them?”

Published 19 January 16
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From Sunday noon to Wednesday afternoon, 68 foreign visitors to Western Sahara have either been detained after arrival to occupied Western Sahara or stopped upon trying to enter. All deported.
Published 19 January 16
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Eva Charlotte Berner from Progress Party Youth and Håvard Skogerbø from Changemaker were two of seven Norwegians who at 02:45 AM Monday morning were stopped by Moroccan police and deported northwards from South Morocco. The groups intended to visit occupied Western Sahara.
Published 18 January 16
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Ten Norwegians, including the vice-president of Norwegian Labour Youth, was few hours ago deported from South Morocco.
Published 18 January 16
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A Swedish and Norwegian citizen were this morning detained by Moroccan police in a check point near Guelmim in southern Morocco, on their way to occupied Western Sahara.
Published 18 January 16
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After several days as tourists in Dakhla, the students Kenneth Karijord and Håvard Saanum were expelled from the occupied Western Sahara this morning. Eight others were also expelled from Western Sahara today.
Published 18 January 16
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Urte Sniaukstaite with Lithuanian-Norwegian citzenship, and four other Norwegians, were this evening stopped in a police control on their way in to Western Sahara, and refused to drive any further. While the police has locked their car into a garage, the group is now located in a hotel in Tan Tan.
Published 18 January 16
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Nine Norwegians were expelled from Western Sahara this morning. Later today two young politicians from the Green Youth and two hobby photographers suffered the same fate. Of the four, three were Norwegians, one Polish citizen.
Published 17 January 16
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At noon today, nine Norwegians and one Dutch student were taken out of the buses they were travelling in, and deported from occupied Western Sahara by Moroccan police.
Published 17 January 16
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One of the biggest shipping companies in Norway calls the arrival of a vessel to occupied Western Sahara "an unfortunate mistake", and guarantees to media it will never happen again.
Published 31 December 15

A series of articles in Norwegian media this year highlighted a controversial shipment from occupied Western Sahara on board a vessel owned by Bergen shipping company Spar Shipping.

Published 24 December 15
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The French multinational oil company has announced that it is no longer pursuing oil search offshore Western Sahara. "More good news for the Saharawi people. We urge the remaining oil companies to follow suit", stated WSRW.
Published 24 December 15
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Though a deal on social benefits was in reach after several tough rounds of negotiations, the Dutch government found Morocco’s demand to have Western Sahara included in the agreement unacceptable.
Published 16 December 15
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Norway's minister for Foreign Affairs today stated that the UN's special envoy to Western Sahara must have freedom of movement. Few weeks ago, Moroccan authorities prevented the UN official access to Western Sahara.
Published 16 December 15
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The Norwegian investor KLP today announced it is ditching Swiss multinational Glencore for violating fundamental ethical norms in occupied Western Sahara.
Published 08 December 15
Published 30 November 15
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The Norwegian government has decided to donate approx. 670.000 Euros in humanitarian aid to UN's work towards refugees from Western Sahara, following the flooding in the refugee camps.
Published 10 November 15
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Today marks the 40th 'anniversary' of the illegal Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara. The Friendship Group of Western Sahara in the Norwegian parliament marks the date.
Published 06 November 15