DI Calls For An End To FGM
the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation
would like to reiterate my call for an end to this harmful practice. We,
in Defend International, reite... Read More ...
Dr Akrawi Awarded For Bridging Gap Between Civilizations
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 ...
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Activisim Against Gender Based Violence, which starts on November 25 and ends
on Dece... Read More ...
DI Reiterates its Commitment Towards a Global Ban on Use of Cluster Munitions
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delegation of Defend International attended the International
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Morocco: Protect And Preserve Mass Grave Sites
Written by DI Monitoring & Investigation Committee
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
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
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
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
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.
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 )
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.