Morocco: Whether a Sahrawi whose parents where born in Sahara, who is now living outside Morocco and who spent several years in the Sahrawi camps in Algeria, has a right to Moroccan citizenship; if not, whether this person would have problems returning to Morocco; whether, upon returning to Morocco, a Sahrawi can relocate anywhere in Morocco
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||19 October 2000|
|Citation / Document Symbol||MAR35608.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Morocco: Whether a Sahrawi whose parents where born in Sahara, who is now living outside Morocco and who spent several years in the Sahrawi camps in Algeria, has a right to Moroccan citizenship; if not, whether this person would have problems returning to Morocco; whether, upon returning to Morocco, a Sahrawi can relocate anywhere in Morocco, 19 October 2000, MAR35608.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be6529.html [accessed 24 July 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Political Counsellor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Ottawa stated on 25 September 2000 that a person whose parents were born in Sahara has an automatic right to Moroccan citizenship. According to Article 9 of the Moroccan Constitution, the person can relocate anywhere in Morocco without restrictions. A Sahrawi who lived in the refugee camps in Algeria and who is currently living outside of Morocco can return without any problem to Morocco and with no conditions for the return. The Political Counsellor stated that Sahrawis who have left Sahara are returning almost daily to Morocco.
However, in an interview on 17 October 2000, the Representative of the Polisario Front in Washington, DC stated that few Sahrawis who have left Morocco are returning to the country because of the political situation and because they fear for their security. The Representative stated that they take a chance when they go back because they can face "persecution" by the Moroccan authorities; they can be jailed for instance and once they go back, very few are able to leave Morocco again.
For further information on recent events in Western Sahara, please see ZZZ34399.E of 29 May 2000.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, Ottawa. 25 September 2000. Correspondence from Political Counsellor.
Polisarion Front Representative, Washington. 17 October 2000. Telephone interview.