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Polisario urged to free more Moroccans

BBC News, Friday 15 December 2000, 12:00 GMT

Morocco has urged the Polisario independence movement in Western Sahara to free all remaining Moroccans it’s holding.

A foreign ministry statement demanded the immediate and unconditional release of nearly fifteen-hundred Moroccan prisoners held by Polisario. It also accused Polisario of using them for forced labour. Polisario handed over two-hundred and one Moroccan prisoners to Red Cross representatives in south-western Algeria yesterday in what it called a humanitarian gesture to mark the holy month of Ramadan. The men—captured up to twenty-five years ago—were later flown to Morocco. Polisario has called on Morocco to release a-hundred and fifty Sahrawi prisoners, though Rabat says it’s not holding them.