Slavery

Two Australian journalists, Violeta Ayal and Daniel Falshow have described the violations of human rights in the Tindouf camps as "endemic". 

They were invited by the Polisario to film the family exchange visits, organised by the UN as a confidence-building measure, only to discover that in addition to the inability of Saharawi families to leave the Tindouf camps, a further 7,000 Saharawis of African origin were denied the right to leave the camps to visit their families.

Speaking at a press conference at the United Nations in New York on 12 October 2007, the journalists said,

"Slavery is a real institution in the Tindouf camps.... Our stupefaction was even greater, since we could never have imagined this practice could have taken place within the camps, where black people are the victims."  Ms Ayal went on to question "how the Polisario can present itself as a liberation movement and yet support such an phenomenon".

The journalists reported that "black families do not have any rights", being considered "the property" of their masters, who pass them on to their descendants.  "Worse, slavery is legally regulated and protected by the law.  It is not only a social practice".

Reporters Without Borders stated that they had received a communique from the Polisario Front, reproaching the journalists for "concerning themselves with black members of the Saharawi population".

 
Article 4 of the United Nations'Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."

Algeria, in whose territory the Tindouf camps are situated, is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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