No account yet? Register
Home arrow Campaigns arrow Morocco: Protect And Preserve Mass Grave Sites

DI Joins "Test Me, Treat Me" DR-TB Manifesto Campaign

Defend International is pleased to inform its members and friends that it has joined the "Test Me, Treat Me" DR-TB Manifesto campaign.   We encourage our members and friends to raise awarene...
Read More ...

DI Calls For An End To FGM

Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). I would like to reiterate my call for an end to this harmful practice. We, in Defend International, reite...
Read More ...

Ms. Peters' Analysis on Lessons Learned in Australia About Gun Controls

In a new article published in the Guardian, Ms. Rebecca Peters, Defend International supporter and friend, provided an analysis on the lessons learned in Australia about gun control. "Stricter gu...
Read More ...

Dr Akrawi Awarded For Bridging Gap Between Civilizations

Dr. Widad Akrawi, President of Defend International, has been awarded by the National Organization for Future Generations, based in Algeria, to thank her for being a passionate advocate of bridgin...
Read More ...

DI 2013: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Defend International has joined over 5,000 NGOs from over 150 countries around the globe to mark the 16 Days of Activisim Against Gender Based Violence, which starts on November 25 and ends on Dece...
Read More ...
Morocco: Protect And Preserve Mass Grave Sites PDF Print E-mail
Written by DI Monitoring & Investigation Committee   
Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Human Remains
Human Remains

Defend International (DI) urges Moroccan authorities to ensure that investigations and exhumations at mass grave sites in Western Sahara are carried out in line with international guidelines.


Oslo - Norway, January 15, 2008 / Defend International / Defend International urge the Moroccan authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of the mass grave site in the town of Samara in Western Sahara, to ensure the preservation of relevant evidence and to deal with them correctly.


According to the information received by members of DI Networks and DI Defenders, a mass grave was discovered on January 4, 2007, in a former military zone near the district of the city of Samara, as a construction company based in Casablanca started to implement a project in the city of Samara. On January 4, 2008, the mass grave was found accidentally by the company employees while digging.

The authorities reportedly buried the boons elsewhere without prior notice and without performing adequate autopsies or collecting crucial evidence which could have helped in identifying the perpetrators.


The loss of potential evidence is a serious violation of human rights. Cases such as the mass grave in Samara, and the mass grave in Al-Oyoun in Western Sahara discovered on November 2007, must be followed up and thoroughly investigated.

The sites are believed to contain the remains of victims killed in 1970es, and may be the biggest mass graves since the end of the conflict at that time, where persons were abducted and taken to unknown locations.

  • Defend International call to bring the perpetrators to justice and to take urgent measures to preserve the evidence at the sites in order to determine the identities of the victims.


  • Defend International urges Moroccan authorities to ensure that investigations and exhumations at mass grave sites are carried out in line with international recommendations, standards and guidelines, especially the UN Model Protocol for Disinterment and Analysis of Skeletal Remains, which covers the procedures to follow by the authorities, if human remains are to be exhumed.


  • Any failure of the authorities to bring perpetrators to justice will cause pain, concern and disappointment to the victims of human rights violations.
  • Therefore, efforts should be made by authorities to identify human remains from mass graves and to allow the families of victims to bury their relatives with dignity. Their feelings should be taken into account in moral or legal calculations.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 March 2008 )
< Prev   Next >



DI & Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Defend International is a partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private initiative led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and preserve the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean cooking solutions. Learn more at www.cleancookstoves.org.


DI's RSS Feed

Women Gateway

Women's Portal