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Open letter to Messe Berlin raises concerns its exhibitor Azura Group has business ties to Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara; incl. co non-responses

On 5 September 2019, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) sent an open letter to Messe Berlin, raising concerns that one of its exhibitors Azura Group, is allegedly importing and marketing products from Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, in violation of the right to self-determination of the non-self-governing Sahrawi people. 

The organisations raised these concerns in a previous complaint, in response to which Messe Berlin said it did not have any responsibility for vetting exhibitors. The open letter dated 5 September outlines Messe Berlin's responsibility under the UN Guiding Principles to engage in human rights due diligence, which includes assessing whether its exhibitors’ activities potentially affect human rights negatively.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Messe Berlin and Azura Group to respond to the concerns raised, to which they did not.