The Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid has officially revoked the right of Sahrawis born in the Moroccan Sahara after 1975 to claim Spanish nationality. The Madrid court ruled that the Sahara could not legally be considered a part of Spanish sovereign territory during Spanish protectorate of the region

Berlin, Germany, June 11, 2020 – According to the news agency EFE, the Spanish Supreme Court denies the nationality of origin to those born in the Moroccan Sahara when it was a Spanish colony. This decision gave a hard blow to the aspirations of the Sahrawis and their descendants. The plenary of the Civil Chamber of the high court established in a ruling that to have been born in the Sahara before 1975 does not give the right to obtain Spanish nationality of origin, since it cannot be considered a national territory during the period in which it was administered by Madrid.

Because of the ruling, the Supreme Court withdraws nationality from a Sahrawi person born in 1973 and who applied for nationality at age 36. In order to reach this conclusion, the Supreme Court relied on the two rules that regulated the decolonization process: Law 40/1975, of November 19, issued on the eve of Franco’s death, on decolonization of the Sahara; and Royal Decree 2258/1976, of August 10, on the option of Spanish nationality by the Sahara, in full transition. So, the ruling is the following: those born outside the mainland Spain can NOT be considered Spanish citizens.

Last week, the Spanish Supreme Court also banned the use of “unofficial” flags or any political expression inside and outside public buildings. This represents a blow to the polisario separatist group as they will not be able to use their flags, ensigns, emblems or any unofficial symbols in buildings and public areas to serve their PR war against Morocco’s territorial integrity. The Polisario separatist group is taking the most recent ruling as another blow to their cause.