The researcher of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Roberto Cantoni, was expelled from Western Sahara yesterday afternoon by the Moroccan authorities. Two agents presented themselves as authorities and notified Cantoni of his immediate expulsion, preventing him from contacting his embassy.
Cantoni, who was in the territory carrying out a project on solar and wind energy, was taken away in a taxi. The Moroccan authorities gave him only one hour to collect his belongings and leave the occupied territory.
This episode adds to the series of expulsions that have taken place in Western Sahara, where observers, politicians, and journalists have been systematically expelled by the Moroccan occupation authorities. These actions are seen as an attempt to tighten the information blockade and censor reports on the ongoing human rights violations in the territory.
Cantoni’s project focused on analysing the Moroccan government’s strategy of installing power plants in occupied territory, with the aim of normalising the occupation (Green Washing). This controversial strategy has been criticised by international organisations, which consider it contrary to international law and the interests of the Sahrawi people.
Cantoni’s expulsion raises questions about freedom of inquiry and the protection of human rights in Western Sahara.
Investigador expulsado del Sáhara Occidental: Roberto Cantoni, de la Universidad @UABBarcelona, fue forzado a abandonar el territorio por autoridades de ocupación marroquíes. Se suma a una serie de expulsiones que silencian informes sobre violaciones de derechos humanos. pic.twitter.com/D55AvmdnnJ
— Equipe Media (@Equipe_Media) May 15, 2023