For Western Sahara, freedom has been an empty promise


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Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted recommendations of its Universal Periodic Review on Morocco. A major highlight of the process was Morocco's abuse of human rights in Western Sahara — a country on the northwest coast of Africa that it has illegally occupied since 1975. The international community has consistently reaffirmed its commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights, not just as Western ideals, but universal norms. Indeed, the end of the Second World War ushered in a wave of decolonization that swept across the world and ended European occupation of 44 African colonies. It marked a watershed for global human rights and democratic freedoms. As several former colonies and territories celebrated this dramatic progression toward political emancipation, freedom has remained a mirage for the Sahrawi people of Western Sahara.

Recently, the International Criminal Court (ICC)