Federation of journalists in solidarity with the Sahrawi cause

Federation of journalists in solidarity with the Sahrawi cause

The Sahrawi Writers and Journalists Union organized a conference with the theme “A Press Perspective on the Western Sahara Issue and Developments”. Journalists from numerous countries attended the meeting.

From Türkiye, Kıvanç Özdal, the Head of Foreign News at Ulusal Kanal TV channel, cameraman Zafer Alpuğan and Aydınlık Newspaper columnist Ali Rıza Taşdelen were present at the meeting.

In his opening speech, Secretary General of the Writers and Journalists Union, Nafi Ahmed Mohamed, stated that Moroccan colonialists prevent journalists from entering the region to conceal the truth. He called for the opening of a media mission from the Sahrawi refugee camps to the closed region. Nafi described the conference as “an opportunity to accompany the media efforts of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and to strengthen support at all levels”.

President Nafi said, “One of our goals is to document the current situation and to send journalists and media professionals to refugee camps, liberated areas, and the occupied territories of Western Sahara to convey the voice, image, and stories of the Sahrawi people to the world”. Nafi also reminded the martyred Palestinian journalists, martyred as a result of the “Zionist attack on Gaza”.

Speaking on behalf of Aydınlık newspaper during the journalists’ session, Ali Rıza Taşdelen emphasized that the US, France and Israel have supported Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara from the very beginning by providing weapons, equipment, and intelligence, thus he said that “the Western Sahara issue is fundamentally a struggle against imperialism”:
“I come from Türkiye, a country that was occupied during World War I, but then defeated imperialism with the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. We understand your struggle very well and firmly believe that you will achieve independence and establish an independent Western Sahara through your determined fight. As Turkish journalists, we express our solidarity with you just like all the oppressed nations fighting against imperialism.”

Taşdelen then added, “Aydınlık newspaper will bring the voice of your struggle to the Turkish public.”

Cuba, Algeria and Sahrawi press agencies unite

Luis Enrique Gonzalez Acosta, president of the Cuban press agency (Prensa Latina), stated in the Sahrawi refugee camp in Boujdour, “The joint action of the Algerian Press Service (APS), the Cuban Press Agency (Prensa Latina) and the Sahrawi Press Agency (SPS) should create a strong media shield to defend just causes worldwide. We urgently need to find a way to work together to support just causes around the world and break the media blackout imposed on countries longing for freedom and justice.”

Based on this suggestion, at the end of the Conference, the Algerian, Cuban and Sahrawi press agencies decided to form an international media federation. The declaration, which was read in Arabic, French and Spanish, received a standing ovation and was unanimously approved. The declaration stated, “The aim is to create an international network for the exchange of information and the monitoring of developments related to the Sahara issue, in addition to countering the influence of Moroccan lobbies and their supporters. We also aim to ensure the dissemination of accurate information and to expose Morocco’s efforts on misleading public opinion on this matter. The federation will also strive to participate in international forums and meetings and work to ensure the broad participation of its members in events and forums in their respective countries to raise awareness and publicize the just struggle of the Sahrawi people.”

Throughout the Conference, there was a notable interest in the Turkish journalists. Nearly ten Algerian television, radio and newspaper reporters conducted interviews with Aydınlık correspondent and columnist Ali Rıza Taşdelen and Kıvanç Özdal, the head of foreign news at Ulusal Kanal TV channel.

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June 2024