Panel: Human Rights and Press Freedom in Western Sahara

This Thursday in New York City, join WITNESS for a panel discussion featuring a special presentation of eyewitness footage from Saharawi media activists. WITNESS was proud to collaborate with our partners at the Western Sahara International Film Festival (FiSahara) to produce “Watching Western Sahara” as a project of the WITNESS Media Lab.

Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
47-49 East 65th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues)
New York City

For 40 years the Saharawi people have been caught between two harsh realities: life in desert refugee camps and life under Moroccan occupation. These realities go largely unreported, and the voices of those living in Western Sahara go unheard. Moroccan authorities deny entry to foreign journalists and strictly prohibit press freedoms in the territory. Despite the media blackout, courageous Saharawi media activists document life under occupation. Watching Western Sahara curates and shares videos from Saharawi media activists. These videos provide a rare window into the day-to-day life of Saharawi people who take risks to expose human rights abuses in Western Sahara.

Please join us for a viewing of these videos and a panel discussion which will contextualize the footage, providing insights into the realities of the often silenced Saharawi and the human rights implications in what a UN commission considers the last colony in Africa.


  • Amy Goodman, Host of Democracy Now!
  • Madeleine Bair, Managing Editor, Watching Western Sahara
  • Sandra Lynn Babcock, Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell University
  • Mohammed Ali Arkoukoum, President of the Saharawi Association in New York
  • Katlyn Thomas, former Chair of the United Nations Committee of the New York City Bar Association 
  • Eric Goldstein, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch(Moderator) 

Click here to RSVP

WITNESS is proud to cosponsor this event together with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, the Hunter College Human Rights Program, and FiSahara.


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