A GROUP of Spanish NGOs have been ejected from Western Sahara, as they tried to assess the human rights situation in the area.
Moroccan authorities refused the delegation entry at Laayoune Airport, in the capital city of El Aaiun, at 1.30pm today.
The five representatives of the Federation of Associations for the Defence and Protection of Human Rights, were forcibly detained and made to fly to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
Seeking to hold interviews with Saharaui activists, the Moroccan authorities, and the staff of the UN mission in Western Sahara, the delegation planned to stay in the country for four days.
The group has received no explanation for their expulsion, but will hold a press conference on arrival in the Canary Islands.
It is not the first time that Moroccan authorities have blocked access to the Western Sahara territories.
The group is made up of representatives from four NGOs: Nuria Diaz of the Spanish Commission for the Help of Refugees (CEAR); Sarai Martin of Mundubat; Jose Taboada and Santiago Jimenez of the Saharan State Coordinator for Solidarity Associations (CEAR-Sahara); and Carmelo Faleh for the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL).