Based on dozens of interviews, this report documents human rights abuses inflicted by Moroccan government forces against civilians during the dismantlement of the Gdaim Izik protest camp in November 2010, and in its aftermath.
In January 2011, a delegation of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights traveled to Western Sahara to visit 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureate, Aminatou Haidar. Led by Haidar, the delegation examined human rights violations allegedly committed by Moroccan security forces against Sahrawis. The delegation met with more than two dozen victims of abuse, torture, and imprisonment and their families, in addition to Moroccan government officials and representatives of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
According to the findings of the report, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, failure to follow criminal procedures, and repression of civilians by Moroccan government forces are all too common in Western Sahara. This context, in concert with the violence that broke out on November 8, 2010, when Moroccan security forces dismantled the Gdaim Izik camp set up by residents of Western Sahara to protest social and economic discrimination, reinforces the need for impartial international human rights monitoring of the situation.
Human Rights Watch report: USA and France continue to support Morocco on Western Sahara
“On Human Rights, the US continued to publicly praise Morocco’s reform efforts and advances made by women,” and “France rarely publicly criticized Morocco’s human rights practices and openly supported its autonomy plan for Western Sahara” says the new Human Rights Watch report. The report also points to the fact that France and the USA both provide Morocco with financial aid to back up their support.
Both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, have a long history of ties to Morocco, and both press for Western Sahara to remain under Moroccan autonomy, not for the referendum on the status on Western Sahara that international law demands. “Genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty [is] the only feasible solution,” stated a House of Representatives letter to President Barack Obama from April 2009. “I hope to see Morocco’s autonomy plan serve as the basis of negotiation in the search for a reasonable resolution. France will be at your side,” stated French president Sarchozy before Morocco’s parliament in 2007.
France has had ties with Morocco as far back as the sixteenth century, went to war with Morocco on several occasions in an attempt to colonize Morocco, and eventually succeeded in colonizing part of Morocco from 1912 to 1956 (Spain colonizing the other part). France still sees Morocco as being part of its sphere of influence, the two governments have good political relations, and France is Morocco’s main trade partner and investor.
Morocco was one of the USA’s closest allies in their fight against communism and is one of its main allies in its fight against terrorism. Morocco was the first country to recognize the independent United States, and the two nations also signed a treaty of friendship as long ago as in 1777 (renegotiated in 1836 and still in effect) that can be said to have laid the foundations of the two countries present good relationship. Amongst other things, this treaty states that “if either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever, the other Party shall not take a Commission from the Enemy nor fight under their Colors” and that “the Commerce with the United States shall be on the same footing as is the Commerce with Spain or as that with the most favored Nation.”
21 de enero de 2011 | The Robert F. Kennedy Center
THE RFK CENTER FINDS EVIDENCE OF ESCALATING ABUSE, TORTURE, AND ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT IN WESTERN SAHARA
HE RFK CENTER FINDS EVIDENCE OF ESCALATING ABUSE, TORTURE, AND ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT IN WESTERN SAHARA
WASHINGTON (January 18, 2011) – Torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, failure to follow criminal procedures, and repression of civilians by Moroccan government forces are all too common in Western Sahara, according to the findings of a recent visit to El Aaiun by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Western Sahara human rights leader Aminatou Haidar, recipient of the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, hosted the staff delegation from January 11 to 14 to examine human rights violations allegedly committed by Moroccan security forces against Sahrawis. The delegation included RFK Center Executive Director Lynn Delaney, Director of the Center for Human Rights Monika Kalra Varma, and Advocacy Officer Mary Beth Gallagher. Although the delegation’s ability to work or move freely was not impeded, the staff was under constant surveillance by both uniformed and undercover police.
Indications of repression, limitations on freedom of expression, and economic and social marginalization of Sahrawis, as well as state-sponsored violence, are emblematic of the human rights situation there. This context, in concert with the violence that broke out on November 8, 2010, when Moroccan security forces dismantled a camp set up by residents of Western Sahara to protest social and economic discrimination, reinforces the need for impartial international human rights monitoring. The RFK Center strongly condemns the violence committed on both sides surrounding the dismantling of the protest camps in November.
The RFK Center mission met with more than two dozen victims of abuse, torture, and imprisonment and their families during the trip, in addition to Moroccan government officials and representatives of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). “Human rights abuses have been ongoing, and the spike in violence resulting from the dismantling of the Gdyam Izik camp is alarming,” said Varma. “There are overwhelming indications of abuse, harassment, or torture both before and after the violence, and Aminatou Haidar and her fellow human rights defenders work at great personal risk in these conditions.”
“The fact that there is no international human rights monitoring mechanism as the situation worsens in Western Sahara is unacceptable,” stated Varma. The RFK Center has long called on the United Nations Security Council to add a human rights component to MINURSO to monitor the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the camps in Tindouf, Algeria.
“I hope that after the visit of the RFK Center to Western Sahara, the delegation will be able to shine a spotlight on the alarming human rights situation in the territory of Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan control,” said Haidar. “Strong support from the United States and the international community is needed to end the suffering of the Sahrawi people.”
The RFK Center will be issuing a report detailing its findings in the near future.
Aminatou Haidar, 2008 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights engages in long-term partnerships with RFK Human Rights Award Laureates to support sustainable social justice movements. As one of Western Sahara’s most prominent human rights defenders, and president of the Collectif des defenseurs saharaouis des droits de l'homme (CODESA), Aminatou Haidar promotes the civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights of the people of Western Sahara, including the rights to freedom of speech and association and to self-determination. Ms. Haidar works through non-violent means to organize peaceful demonstrations to denounce the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Moroccan government. Despite years of illegal imprisonment, torture, and abuse under Moroccan authorities, Ms. Haidar continues to encourage Sahrawis to seek, through non-violent means, the realization of their fundamental human rights.
For journalists to arrange an interview, please contact:
Josh Karlen, Director of Communications
Le Centre RFK découvre des preuves d'abus, de torture et d'emprisonnements arbitraires croissant au Sahara Occidental
WASHINGTON, 18 janvier 2011 – La torture, les détentions et les arrestations arbitraires, l'incapacité de poursuivre des procédures pénales, et la répression des civils par les forces du gouvernement Marocain sont des choses communes au Sahara Occidental, selon les découvertes faites au cours d'une visite récente à El Aaiun effectuée par le Centre Robert F. Kennedy pour la justice et les droits de l'homme.
La chef de file des droits de l'homme au Sahara Occidental, Aminatou Haidar, lauréate 2008 du Prix Robert F. Kennedy des droits de l'homme, a accueilli le 11 janvier dernier jusqu'au 14 janvier la délégation afin d'examiner les violations des droits de l'homme prétendument commises par les forces de sécurité Marocaines contre les Sahraouis. Les personnes ayant participé à cette mission d'information étaient les suivantes : la Directrice Générale du centre RFK Lynn Delaney, la Directrice du Centre pour les droits de l'homme Monika Kalra Varma et la représentante légale Mary Beth Gallagher. Bien que la capacité de la délégation à travailler ou à se déplacer librement n'ait pas été entravée, elles demeuraient constamment sous surveillance par le biais de policiers en uniforme et en civil.
Les indices de répression, de limitation de la liberté d'expression et de discrimination économique et sociale des sahraouis, ainsi que la violence sponsorisée par l'État sont emblématiques de la situation locale concernant les droits de l'homme. Ce contexte, conjointement avec la violence qui a éclaté le 8 novembre 2010, lorsque les forces de sécurité Marocaines ont démantelé un camp établi par des résidents du Sahara Occidental afin de protester contre la discrimination sociale et économique, renforce le besoin de contrôle impartial de la communauté internationale en termes de droits de l'homme. Le Centre RFK condamne fermement les violences commises des deux côtés lors du démantèlement des camps de protestation ayant eu lieu en Novembre.
La délégation du centre RFK a rencontré plus de deux douzaines de victimes d'abus, de torture et d'emprisonnement et leurs familles lors de ce voyage, ainsi que les représentants du gouvernement Marocain et les représentants de la Mission des Nations Unies pour l'organisation d'un référendum au Sahara Occidental (MINURSO). "Les abus à l'encontre des droits de l'homme continuent, et le pic de violence résultant du démantèlement du camp Gdyam Izik est alarmant" confie Varma. "Il existe des indices accablants d'abus, de harcèlement ou de torture ayant eu lieu avant et après les violences, et le travail d'Aminatou Haidar et de ses collègues défenseurs des droits de l'homme est hautement risqué dans ces conditions."
«Le fait qu'il n'y ait aucun mécanisme de contrôle international des droits de l'homme au Sahara Occidental alors que la situation empire est inacceptable » a déclaré Varma. Le centre RFK propose depuis longtemps au Conseil de Sécurité l'ajout au MINURSO d'une composante ayant trait aux droits de l'homme afin de contrôler la situation des droits de l'homme au Sahara Occidental et dans les camps de Tindouf en Algérie.
«Je souhaite que la visite de la délégation du centre RFK et les entretiens faites avec les victimes sahraouies des violations des droits de l'homme aillent clarifier d'avantage pour le les membres de la délégations la situation alarmante des droits de l'homme au territoire du Sahara Occidental sous contrôle marocain » disait Haidar. «L'intervention ferme en son faveur par des Etats Unis et partout dans le monde entier par des nations libres est nécessaire pour mettre fin a la souffrance du peuples sahraoui. »
Le centre RFK publiera sous peu un rapport détaillant ses découvertes.
Aminatou Haidar, Lauréate 2008 du Prix Robert F. Kennedy des droits de l'homme
Le centre Robert F. Kennedy pour la justice et les droits de l'homme s'engage dans un partenariat à long terme avec les lauréats RFK des droits de l'homme afin de soutenir les mouvements de justice sociale durables. Étant l'une des défenseures des droits de l'homme les plus éminentes du Sahara Occidental et la presidente du Collectif des defenseurs saharaouis des droits de l'homme (CODESA), Aminatou Haidar promeut les droits civiques, politiques, sociaux, culturels et économiques du peuple du Sahara Occidental, y compris la liberté d'expression et d'association et l'autodétermination. Madame Haidar travaille au moyen de la non violence afin d'organiser des manifestations pacifiques pour dénoncer les abus perpétrés par le gouvernement Marocain. Malgré des années d'emprisonnement illégal, de torture et d'abus sous le régime Marocain, Madame Haidar continue d'encourager les Sahraouis à chercher, au travers de moyens non violents, la réalisation de leurs droits fondamentaux.
Pour les journalistes désirant organiser une interview, veuillez contacter :
Josh Karlen, Directeur de la Communication
Detention and torture of two children Saharawi camp Gdeim Izik
El Aaiun. 06/12/2010
The Saharawi less than 15 years, Ahmed Kentaui b>, was kidnapped by members of the Moroccan army and the gendarmerie on Nov. 8 at Camp Gdeim Saharawi Izik after being accompanied by his mother.
Despite the mother's attempt to persuade the Moroccan officials to prevent them took him a ride in a military truck and then by vehicle to the gendarmerie. The child was subjected to sessions of torture and abuse by the military. He was then driven to the center when he joined a group of Sahrawi who were detained at the gendarmerie units Laayoune in Western Sahara.
Ahmed Kentaui said that four days was subjected to constant abuse and torture by being in the Saharawi camp Izik Gdeim before being brutally dismantled by Moroccan forces.
The child once inside the police station he was interrogated without the presence of their parents and this is a minor. The teenager was transferred on 12 November before the crown prosecutor and the judge of the court of first instance to be released with signs of torture are all over his body.
Another lesser known as Saharawi Mohamed Lamin Suleima b>, who suffers from psychological disorder have been previously tortured by these same agents have been tortured for four days like many young Saharawi following the protests originated in El Aaiun after the violent eviction of dignity Saharawi camp.
Two women hide in Smara (Western Sahara) reported atrocities committed by Moroccans from dismantling the protest camp Izik Gdaim.
THE Prime Minister is in Rabuni, which is about twenty miles from the camp of El Aaiun, the second most populous in the region of Tindouf, which also hosts three major camps (Smara, Djala and Awsera). In this total live in some 165,000 Saharawi territory. Algeria welcomes them on their land and has turned over a good portion of the desert, miles and miles of a sad landscape, without evidence, that they manage as they can. Rabuni is in the middle of this huge clay and there is no concentrated efforts of all the Prime Ministry. The building work the Saharawi Prime Minister (Abbas El Fassi) and the director of general administration (Mohamed Mouloud Ergeibi), together with its partners.
Many of the statements coming from the territories occupied by Morocco converge here, mainly through e-mail or Skype. Abdul Mohamed Salem is in charge of collecting all that information, and in the evenings, every day. Abdul is contained within a small yellow room, worn by the rigors of daytime heat and extreme cold that night gives in these amazing places. A brown sofa and a black flank the table, which supports a lightweight laptop and a flag of SADR (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic). On the wall hangs a tiny, dusty portrait of President, Mohamed Abdelaziz. The smell of mint tea and sparkling lights all pervading sense of Abdul, focused on the computer screen and small red flashes emitted by Skype, a program that lets you talk with others via the Internet.
Sipping the potion of the desert and back again to your computer. They are calling it. "It J.M." he enthuses. "It's a Saharawi woman who was in Gdaim Izik, camp attacked in Laayoune. Now lies in Smara. She can tell you things, but you can not publish his name. They would look and worn." J.M then. "Salm Alikum" the girl show, greets Hassani (Arabic dialect) but continues in a perfect Spanish: "The attack was at dawn. At five o'clock the police and soldiers had surrounded the camp and attacked six . They did it with every weapon they had, and shots were fired. I could see at least two deaths. A one knew him. Regreg was called and has two children. The camp was full of youth, women, children and homes, and showed no mercy to anyone, they hit everyone. "
J.M. take a break and return to the events of that fateful awakening: "The younger they faced police with stones and bottles filled with gasoline, all they had, thanks to them we were able to escape because we did a corridor security. But there are people who were caught overnight in the camp, because the incidents lasted all day. Following the fighting moved to Laayoune, where he continued until one o'clock in the morning. In the camp there were 800 tents and more than ten thousand people. Many have disappeared, do not know where they are, but some have already found. I recently found that Moroccans 16 bodies had been thrown into a pit. " J.M. describes the facts unchanged, with the calm voice of someone who's been reviewed over and over again: "In Gdaim Izik were 800 tents and burned them all, plus the military and the police stole everything inside. That was terrible, but what happened next is worse. We can hardly go out. The military have been gone, but the streets are made by the Police and the Moroccan civilians, and among all the Saharawi are stealing.'ve robbed stores have stolen from homes and stolen cars. The king of Morocco itself has encouraged countries to do so. It is a shame. " Now it has changed a little and his voice echoes in the room like a psalm: "It's a shame, a shame you have to talk about this as soon as possible for someone to end this injustice. We ask nothing more than protection . The Saharawi are totally unprotected in our own land. It is unfair, totally unfair. "
Insults and abuse
J.M. hidden in a central area of Smara, and is afraid to go outside. Her neighbor, SMA, was recently assaulted when he went to pick up their daughters to school. J.M. flame and she agrees to talk. His voice is more serious and hesitant, but the statements are equally compelling. She speaks Hassani, and translates Abdul: "Moroccan women insult us and provoke us, and tell their children to stick to our own, which often come home with black eye or a blow to the body. That happens in the schools of Mohamed V, Moulay Rashid and Green March, which we call the Black March, because it's like hell. " "We are afraid to go out and buy food," he continues, and they are young boys who are at risk. We can not sue anyone, the law is not in our favor, the police are not in our favor ... We are afraid because know when to throw our door to enter our houses, as if we were terrorists. We are not terrorists! ". S.M.A. opens up to his words are a nobody answers SOS and which is lost in the sand beds of distant offices, where it is filed.
Impunity in prisons
The situation has calmed down in El Aaiun and Smara, but the Saharawi, who are barely 20% of the total population of Western Sahara, living in the shadows. They dare not go outside for fear of reprisals from neighboring Morocco, do not dare to ask about the missing (at risk of arrest), do not overlook the hospitals (they risk being beaten). And there are worse things. "The greatest injustices done in the prisons. Nobody knows how many are detained Sahrawi, or how many have disappeared. But we do know what happens to those who go to jail, because some have gone and been told. One woman made to sit on a bottle, well, literally. The other girl, Elgalia, cut off his head. All that we are living it ourselves. "Europe is going to do something? France? Spain? Is anybody going to do something? The UN going to do something, "he asked between moans disguised JM
The UN has deployed observers for some time, but apparently Minurso members are nothing more than mere observers, silent witnesses to the injustices suffered by Sahrawi daily. JM understands this: "The UN observers are here but stare, and sometimes not even that, not even want to watch. Sometimes the Moroccan authorities do not give them permission to go where there have been clashes or attacks." J.M. claims to have visual evidence of many of these abuses, and details that, in recent days, the Moroccan civilians, settlers and children of the settlers "are the real danger, because they are emboldened and they want our property. They want us out of here, but not going to get. The world must know this, we need to know what happens, because we will not lose more family members. " J.M. thanks and goodbye to Abdul, releasing the last proclamation of who is cornered: "We're not going to miss here. Never."
Western Sahara: Beatings, Abuse by Moroccan Security Forces
Investigate Violent Response to Disturbances.
(New York) - Moroccan security forces repeatedly beat and abused people they detained following disturbances on November 8, 2010, in the Western Sahara capital city of El-Ayoun, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces also directly attacked civilians, a Human Rights Watch investigation showed. The Moroccan authorities should immediately end the abuse of detainees, and carry out an independent investigation into the abuse, Human Rights Watch said.
Early on November 8 the Moroccan security forces moved to dismantle the Gdeim Izik tent camp - about 6,500 tents Sahrawis had erected in early October to protest their social and economic conditions in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. That set off violent confrontations between residents and security forces both in the camp and in nearby El-Ayoun. Eleven security officers and at least two civilians were killed, by official count. Many public and private buildings and vehicles were burned in the city.
"The security forces have the right to use proportionate force to prevent violence and protect human life, but nothing can justify beating people in custody unconscious," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Following the initial violent confrontations, Moroccan security forces participated with Moroccan civilians in retaliatory attacks on civilians and homes, and blocked wounded Sahrawis from seeking medical treatment. Such conduct, and the beating of persons in custody, cannot be viewed as force used legitimately to prevent or stop violent acts by some demonstrators such as stone-throwing or arson, Human Rights Watch said.
In the aftermath of the violence on November 8, Moroccan security officials detained hundreds of Sahrawis in connection with the disturbances, more than 100 of whom are still being held. Another nine have been transferred to Rabat for investigation by a military court, Sahrawi human rights lawyers in El-Ayoun told Human Rights Watch.
Restricted Access to Information
After the tent camp was dismantled, Moroccan authorities tightly limited access to El-Ayoun, allowing few journalists or representatives of nongovernmental organizations to reach the city and turning back many who tried. A Human Rights Watch researcher was prevented twice from boarding a flight to El-Ayoun on November 11, and finally flew there on November 12. The researcher and Human Rights Watch's El-Ayoun-based research assistant were able, from November 12 to 16, to interview injured civilians and police officers in hospitals and at homes. They also met with Mohamed Jelmous, governor of the El-Ayoun-Boujdour-Saguia el-Hamra region.
"We are glad Morocco changed course and allowed Human Rights Watch to carry out an investigation in El-Ayoun," Whitson said. "But a government that says repeatedly that it has nothing to hide should prove that by allowing all media and nongovernmental organizations to come and to collect information without obstacles."
Human Rights Watch focused its investigation on human rights abuses following the dismantling of the Gdeim Izik camp - not on the nature of the protest at the camp, the decision to close it, or the way it was closed down.
Human Rights Watch does not have its own tally of civilians or security force members killed during the events. According to Moroccan authorities, nine members of the security forces were killed during the operation at Gdeim Izik camp on the morning of November 8, and another died during the disturbances later that day in El-Ayoun. The eleventh died on November 17 from wounds he incurred during the disturbances. One civilian died of injuries sustained during the security force operation at Gdeim Izik, a second after a vehicle hit him in during the unrest in El-Ayoun. The public prosecutor ordered a judicial inquiry into the latter case, a government statement said.
Human Rights Watch told ministry of interior officials in Rabat on November 18 of its evidence that security forces had opened fire in the city of El-Ayoun, wounding civilians, and of other violent attacks by members of the security forces on Sahrawis, both those at liberty and those in detention. The following day, Moroccan authorities again issued a denial, writing to Human Rights Watch that, "The security forces' operations when dismantling the camp of Gdeim Izik as well as its operations in El-Ayoun were conducted in conformity with the legal procedures in place, in strict respect for what is required of a state that respects the rule of law, and without a single shot being fired." At the same time, they wrote, "Moroccan authorities are ready to start investigations and the necessary forensic work to fully clarify the basis for these allegations. Moreover, those persons who allege having been subjected to violence, whether or not they are in custody, are completely free to go to court themselves to file suits to establish the validity of their assertions."
On November 20, the government announced that, on the basis of the report from Human Rights Watch, the crown prosecutor at the El-Ayoun Appeal Court had opened an inquiry into "allegations of persons having been injured by bullets" during the disturbances in El-Ayoun.
Human Rights Watch intends to monitor any official investigation as well as the treatment accorded to victims of abuse who file a complaint.
The security forces involved in the events come from various groups. The troops who intervened at the camp included gendarmes and the Auxiliary Forces, an interior ministry statement said. The forces involved in El-Ayoun included the regular police force, special anti-riot units (groupes d'intervention rapide, or GIR), and the Auxiliary Forces. The latter assists other branches of the security forces and is not part of the interior ministry.
The Human Rights Watch research mission identified the following possible abuses by security forces. Some of those who spoke with Human Rights Watch gave permission to use their names, while others, fearing reprisal, asked the researchers to withhold their names.
Abuses in Detention
Human Rights interviewed seven Sahrawis detained following the November 8 violence and then released. All alleged that the police or gendarmes abused them in custody, including in some cases beating them until they lost consciousness, throwing urine at them, and threatening them with rape. Lawyers representing those who remain in custody told Human Rights Watch that at least one detainee told an investigative judge that he had been raped in detention, while many others told the investigative judge and prosecutor about beatings and other abuses they allegedly endured in custody.
The witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch had severe bruising and other recent wounds that suggested they had been beaten in custody.
Family members of detainees told Human Rights Watch that Moroccan authorities failed to inform them about the detentions for several days and that, as of November 23, the authorities had still not permitted them to visit relatives detained up to two weeks earlier, although defense lawyers had been able to see them for the first time on that day. These delays made it difficult for many families to promptly establish the whereabouts of missing persons or to get information about their treatment in detention.
Human Rights Watch urged authorities immediately to inform next of kin for each person taken into custody, as required by Morocco's Code of Penal Procedure, article 67.
The Sahrawis held in El-Ayoun prison were being investigated on charges such as formation of a criminal gang of with the aim of committing crimes against persons and property, possession of arms, destruction of public property, and participation in hostage-taking and the sequestration of persons, in setting fire to buildings, in the use of violence against members of the forces of order resulting in injury and death, and in armed gatherings.
Ahmed Jadahlou Salem, 34, told Human Rights Watch that he arrived at the Gdeim Izik protest camp the evening of November 7, after making the long drive from Spain. On the morning of the crackdown, he said, gendarmes at the camp detained and handcuffed him, then beat and kicked him with their boots until he lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, still at the camp, he was again kicked several times in the chest by the gendarmes, who then threw him into the back of a truck:
About 30 or 40 of us were put in the back of the gendarmes' truck. All of us were handcuffed behind our backs. They just threw us inside the van like cattle; some of us had head wounds, and we were all bleeding. We were lying on top of each other, and they left us like this for one or two hours, ordering us to keep our heads down.
Jadahlou said that when the truck reached El-Ayoun, the men were dragged out by their feet and marched into the gendarme station, while being punched and kicked. They were kept in a room that, he said, by November 9 housed 72 male detainees. Jadahlou described to Human Rights Watch how each person was called out of the common room for questioning, and said men kicked and punched him along the way:
In the interrogation room, there were maybe six gendarmes, but others kept coming and going. There was no chair to sit on in the room, and each question was asked with a kick or a slap. They asked many questions - what I was doing in the camp, why we wanted a state of our own. They asked me about many persons by name. They threatened to rape me there.
Jadahlou said the gendarmes tossed urine on the detainees. They provided no food until the evening of November 10, thirty-six to sixty hours after the men were detained. At night, the gendarmes threw water on the floor of the cell to interrupt their sleep. The police released Jadahlou on November 12 without charge.
A second former detainee, Laassiri Salek, 38, told Human Rights Watch that the police detained him at his home in the Columina Nueva neighborhood around midday on November 9. He told Human Rights Watch that, although he was handcuffed and blindfolded, he is fairly certain they transported him to the city's central police station. There, he said, he was beaten during the course of five hours with wooden sticks and batons, causing him to lose consciousness twice. The police revived him by pouring water on him. He could hear other detainees nearby screaming in pain, he said. After the long beating session, during which various police officers came and went, he was taken for interrogation where, he said, he continued to be beaten on his head, back, and kidney area with clubs.
Salek told Human Rights Watch that the police forced detainees to sing the Moroccan national anthem, beating them if they did not know the words. Police threw cold water on them and did not give them food for the first two days. On the evening of November 10, he said, the police ordered the detainees to stand in one line, still blindfolded, as police officers ran up and kicked them hard with their boots. Salek again lost consciousness. When the police released him the next day, he was unable to walk and had to be carried out of the station in a chair and driven home in a taxi. He was still in a wheelchair when interviewed by Human Rights Watch on November 16, five days after his release.
Leila Leili, a 36-year-old Sahrawi activist, was detained outside her father's home close to Smara Avenue in the Lacheicha neighborhood on November 9, after police found in her purse an essay she wrote about the events of the previous day. She told Human Rights Watch that the police officers first took her into a nearby private building, where one policeman punched her in the face. She was kept there for several hours, then transferred to the central police station. There she complained to the police officers that the officers who detained her had let several Moroccans armed with knives go free, but had detained all the Sahrawi civilians they had stopped. She recalls:
Because of this [complaint], they started beating me with sticks on my head and back, and also kicking me. I don't know how many they were, because I was blindfolded. They ordered me to shout pro-Moroccan slogans like "Long Live the King," and to say that I was Moroccan. I told them that I respect their King and the Moroccan people, but am not Moroccan. There were others being beaten in the same room and being forced to say the same things.
Leili was then subjected to a long interrogation about her activist work, her trips to Algeria and Spain, and the work of her association and its membership. Following the interrogation, she was made to sit in the corridor of the police station, and was regularly kicked and beaten by police officers who walked by. She told Human Rights Watch: "They put me in the corridor and everyone who walked by would beat me. They would ask, ‘What is she doing here?' and one would respond, ‘She says she is not Moroccan,' and then they would kick or beat me.
Attacks on Sahrawi Homes
Human Rights Watch visited the Haï Essalam and Colomina Nueva neighborhoods, where numerous homes of Sahrawis were attacked on November 8 and 9 by groups that included security force members and people in street clothes, some of whom appeared to be Moroccan civilians, the inhabitants reported. The people interviewed described how assailants beat residents inside their homes and damaged property. Authorities have reportedly taken steps to compensate homeowners for damage, but have not, as far as Human Rights Watch has been able to determine, announced any arrests or charges against Moroccan civilians implicated in the violence.
A 30-year-old resident of the Columina Nueva neighborhood described how a group of Moroccan civilians gathered in front of his home, near Moulay Ismaïl Street, at about 3 p.m. on November 8. The Moroccans were accompanied by plain clothes police, identifiable by the protective gear they were wearing, and uniformed policemen armed with tear gas and handguns. The civilians broke into his home and hit him on the head with a machete, leaving him unconscious and with a deep gash. His brother watched as the civilians ransacked his home, stealing televisions, kitchen equipment, and many more valuable items, and destroying windows and furniture.
About a dozen Sahrawi homes on or near Moulay Ismaïl Street were invaded and damaged. Two blocks away, a group of about 40 soldiers and police officers invaded the home of two older women at 10:30 a.m. on November 8. The women said that the invaders fired anti-riot shotgun shells with plastic pellets into the home, told the family to leave, and stole a computer and jewelry.
In one such attack in Colomina Nueva, a group of Moroccan civilians and police entered a Sahrawi home at 1:30 p.m. on November 8, where the police found a group of seven unarmed Sahrawi men hiding in a small room on the roof. Four of the men, whom Human Rights Watch interviewed on November 16, said the police attacked them, shooting one in the lower left leg with live ammunition from a small-caliber pistol, firing anti-riot shotgun cartridges with plastic pellets at the group causing superficial wounds, and beating them severely with a heavy butane gas canister and sticks. One of the men, a 28-year-old who eight days later said he was still unable to move his right arm because of the severity of the beatings, recounted the attack:
The police broke into the house and came in armed, and then broke down the door to the room we were hiding in. One policeman beat me with a butane gas canister, raising it over his head and throwing it at me, first on my arm and then on my foot. He was cursing us and saying "You are all Polisario." Then they beat us with sticks, and they fired their guns at us. They forced us to face the wall and continued to beat us. We were seven [civilians], and there were nine or so police.
The police rounded up the men and led them downstairs. Along the way, some of the Moroccan civilians who had entered the house beat them, they later told Human Rights Watch. They were put in a car and taken to the regional police headquarters (Préfecture de la Sûreté Nationale), where they were held for two days, then released without charge.
When Human Rights Watch visited the rooftop room on November 16, the floor and walls were stained by blood. The men showed the researchers pistol and plastic pellet riot control shotgun cartridges that, the men said, lay on the ground on the roof after the police had assaulted them.
Residents of some streets where houses were damaged on November 8 and 9 said that later in the week, interior ministry officials came through and arranged to provide some financial compensation. Governor Mohamed Jelmous also told Human Rights Watch that property owners were being compensated.
The police impeded access to the main civilian hospital in El-Ayoun for much of November 8, in some cases assaulting Sahrawi civilians who sought treatment for injuries, according to more than one witness we interviewed. A hospital worker told Human Rights Watch that he observed one attack in which police broke the windows of a taxi that drove up to the hospital carrying three wounded Sahrawis, and beat both the wounded men and the taxi driver, before letting the taxi driver go and detaining the three passengers. Several Sahrawis who had been beaten said they did not go to the hospital for treatment, saying they feared the police there.
Police Assault Human Rights Researcher on Street
Police beat Human Rights Watch's El-Ayoun-based research assistant Brahim Alansari on an El-Ayoun street, when he was in the company of John Thorne, the Rabat-based correspondent for The National, the Abu Dhabi English-language daily. On November 8 at about 9 a.m., at a time when protesters were throwing stones and security forces were massing in the streets, police stopped the two men on a side street behind the Negjir Hotel in downtown El-Ayoun and demanded to know what they were doing there. After Alansari and Thorne gave their names and professions, the police separated the two men. Alansari described what happened next:
Policemen surrounded me and started to kick me and beat me with their sticks and slap me. They asked me my nationality. When I refused to answer, they seemed angered and started to beat me again. Then a higher-ranking officer arrived and ordered me to reply. I said that I cannot talk while being beaten. He did not order the others to stop hitting me....
One of the police escorted me to where John [Thorne] was seated in a chair. The policeman forced me to sit on the ground next to John, saying that I am a dog and that was my place. After about ten or twenty minutes some policemen approached and told Mr. Thorne to return to his hotel and not to do any work. Then the man in plainclothes asked me not to accompany Mr. Thorne or to take him anywhere and that I should instead go home and stay out of trouble. They returned my phone and ID and gave John his passport, and we both left.
Thorne told Human Rights Watch that he could see the beating from where he was forced to sit, about 15 feet away:
Around a dozen police - some in green jumpsuits, others in blue riot gear - surrounded Brahim and began beating him. I could not see how many policemen struck Brahim, but I could see that he was struck with hands and batons at least twenty times during a few minutes. Then the police made Brahim sit next to me.
Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Moroccan authorities on November 23, detailing this incident and requesting that it be investigated. On November 24 the ministry of interior replied that it had opened an administrative investigation and that the ministry of justice had asked the office of the prosecutor in El-Ayoun to conduct a judicial investigation. Human Rights Watch intends to report on the outcome of these inquiries.
The present conflict over Western Sahara dates to 1975, when Spain, the former colonial power, withdrew and Morocco moved in and seized control over the sparsely-populated desert territory. Morocco has since claimed sovereignty and administered Western Sahara as if it were part of Morocco, even though the UN does not recognize that sovereignty and classifies Western Sahara as a "non-self-governing territory." The Polisario Front, the Western Saharan independence movement, fought a war against Morocco until 1991, when the UN brokered a ceasefire alongside an agreement to organize a referendum on self-determination for Western Sahara's population.
The referendum has not taken place because of the objections of Morocco, which rejects independence as an option and proposes instead to grant Western Sahara a measure of autonomy under Moroccan rule. The Polisario continues to insist on a referendum that includes independence as one option. Negotiations to bridge this gap have so far been fruitless. Meanwhile, large numbers of Moroccans have migrated south and settled in Western Sahara, where they now outnumber the Sahrawis who are indigenous to the region.
Under Moroccan rule, advocacy of independence is considered an "attack on territorial integrity," punishable by law. While not all pro-independence activities in Western Sahara are nonviolent - in some cases, youths threw stones and gas bombs during the recent clashes and damaged property - even nonviolent protests are systematically shut down by the security forces, and nonviolent activists are subjected to unfair trials and imprisonment.
The Moroccan police beating and left a paraplegic young Sahrawi
* The assaulted trying to protect a pregnant woman.
* The Sultan's henchmen broke into his house and beat his family.
* Treatment in Spain could restore mobility.
It's another cruel and usual history located in the north of Western Sahara. The people barely survive in Laayoune crammed between awkward silences in the attic of the world. But sometimes overlap to panic and break their pharynx to shout slogans of freedom. And freedom is proportional to the minutes that reverses the Moroccan Police park their dairy in the desert, fit riot helmets and hit the air, arms, dignity and brains.
Rage defeated the restraint on 30 August. A youth group focused on any street and howled against the occupation. The Moroccan police ran and started hunting. The dispersion cleared the street in less than a minute. But agents dams located in neighboring houses and began the second phase of repression: access to private property and beating Sahrawi citizens indiscriminately.
The family Foucraui aided a group of young people who jeered the police batons. Until the police taunted the door of his home. And he began Alawi recreation of A Clockwork Orange. The blows cut the air, until a cut the backs of the young Foucraui. Literal. Trying to protect a pregnant woman police aggression when a bad beat left motionless and unresponsive from the waist down. The family moved to a hospital in Laayoune, but given the precarious nature of the medical center's human resources, family raised 600 euros for transfer to the city of Agadir.
Now rest in a room and waiting for results of some tests that will determine whether the damage is reversible or permanent. Although initial analysis suggests that a move to Spain would be key to regain mobility. Some NGOs working in the field manage their travel, but transport costs made it impossible for the moment, this option.
The family has reported the assault to the police, but police is Moroccan. "It is futile to fight the bloodthirsty Sultan. Is accusing the very system of the abuses," said Pablo Alvarez civil observer from Laayoune. Before hanging up reports that will send the story and photographs of two Saharawi women intentionally run over by a policeman. Recently submitted the testimony of a young man threatened to rape a river. Rains, it pours.
A fair trial or release
Three Saharawi activists arrested last October after traveling to refugee camps in Tindouf (Algeria) said Monday its intention to start a hunger strike for 48 hours to demand a fair trial or unconditional release. The three were arrested in Casablanca for eleven months, along with four other activists, charged with "acting against the interests of the nation" for allegedly contacted during your stay in Tindouf with senior officials of the Polisario Front and the Algerian military security.
Independent human rights work continues to be repressed in Western Sahara by the Moroccan authorities who consider Western Sahara to be part of Morocco. No progress has been made towards a UN sponsored referendum on the future of Western Sahara.
The issue of self determination in Western Sahara has been creating deep political and security related tensions throughout the Sahara area controlled by the Moroccan authorities; it is affecting all aspects of life including the work of human rights defenders.
Previous cases of enforced disappearance (long term imprisonment and severe torture during the period 1976-1991) still overshadow the life and feelings of most activists.
In regard to the right to freedom of association, none of the Sahara’s human rights groups is legally registered. They are considered by the authorities as supporters of self-determination or “separatists”. Some of these groups have tried to register but with no success.
As a result; the work of all these groups is illegal, affiliation is considered a crime, they have no place to work, very limited financial resources, difficulties in dealing with governmental or even non-governmental “registered” organisations and difficulties in communicating with and traveling to the outside world.
As for the right to freedom of assembly, especially since the so-called “2005 independence uprising”, all kinds of peaceful protests and gatherings are considered as illegal and dispersed by force. Participants, including human rights defenders, were reportedly beaten on the spot and/or arrested or otherwise intimidated.
According to recent cases, activists, including human rights defenders, men and women, were subjected to informal periods of short-term arrest, then released by being dropped in an isolated area. Others were detained and subjected to unfair trial on charges related to violence resulting in sentences ranging from 6-18 months.
Hassan Dah recounts torture by Moroccan police in Western Sahara
Name: Hassan Dah
Date and place of birth: 18/01/1987 in El-Aaiun, Western Sahara
ID Card No.: SH 133 404
Address: Maatala district, Block 3, No. 21, El-Aaiun, Western Sahara
The plane that we were onboard landed at 20:00 at the airport of El-Aaiun, Western Sahara. We came from Casablanca after a flight from Algiers. The airport was filled with Intelligence agents and plainclothes officers.
They sped up arrival procedures for the rest of the passengers. Everything took very long for us.
They isolated us one by one, stripped and searched us, including our shoes. I bought new shoes in Algeria, and they were very interested. They asked me if Mohamed Abdelaziz (Translator note: President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) who bought them for me. Such were the questions that had no basis in reality.
We exited around 23:00 and found outside the airport the activists Brahim Sabar, Mohammed Rashid N’dour and Hassana Alouate. They took us in their cars to a reception area.
When we arrived, we showed the sign of victory. The police considered this as a provocation, and they attacked us. I was the first target, accompanying Mrs Khaddjto. She was hit in the head and fainted. I was beaten by seven people and I fainted too.
I woke up in the house, there were shouts and screams, and stones penetrated through the windows. The police threw them.
The tension was rising in the house when the rumor circulated that a policeman had been stabbed by a person in that house.
Around 03:00, I decided to go out along with Mohammed Manolo.
Just as I left the house, I was surrounded by a large number of plainclothes policemen. Four of them took pictures on me.
I was handcuffed and blindfolded with a cloth that smelled of urine.
Then they forced me to climb into a police car, not to mention they started hitting me, slapping, kicking, before taking me to the police prefecture.
I knew I was in the prefecture because I saw the ground and the stairs looking down under the cloth.
They took me to a room, and I felt there were many men before they started the interrogation.
They asked me whether I stabbed the policemen, who stabbed the policeman, and how the Polisario Front has paid to do that?
I was surprised by the questions that I found strange, so it was me who was beaten for no reason.
They threatened to force me to sit on a glass bottle, then they tied my hands over my shins.
They put a stick under my knees and bent me over my arms.
They hung me high up my head down (the police call it ‘roast chicken’). They struck me as they repeated the same questions: who stabbed the officer?
They said they had photographic evidence that it was me.
I told them that they if they had evidence they should show me.
Then they poured dirty water on me. It flowed to my mouth and my nose until I feel suffocated.
The situation lasted for two hours, I think. At this point, I said ‘stop, stop, I’ll tell the truth.’
A chief gave the order to change my position and they took me down to the ground.
I asked them to remove the blindfold of my eyes.
They did and I saw that there were twenty officers.
I pointed the finger at one among them and said ‘it’s him.’ ‘It was he who stabbed the policeman.’
They became angry, and they tied the blindfold on me and handcuffed my hands behind my back.
I stayed in this position from 06:00 until one in the afternoon. Every ten minutes the police beat me to prevent me from sleeping. I asked them for some water and food because I was hungry and thirsty.
They told me that there is no water, no food for the Polisario.
Then one of them came to join me in an office.
They wanted me to sign police report without reading it. I refused.
They removed the blindfold from my eyes. I read the report and I signed it because I agree with the way they wrote my statements. They made me sign it 17 times.
I was then accompanied by him to another room, under the same conditions as before. On the ground, handcuffed and blindfolded.
They released me and told me to leave around 21:00.
Saharan family protests their marginal situation occupied El Aaiun
Laayoune Western Sahara occupied territories. July 26, 2010.
Sahrawi human rights activists.
The Saharawi human rights defender Hamad Hammad, yesterday denounced the situation of several Sahrawi families in the city of El Aaiun who have been forced to leave the city and set up their traditional tents in a desert where they were camping with their cattle formerly located 40 miles east of El Aaún.
According to Hamad families were surprised by the Moroccan gendarmerie patrols and forced him to storm into the town. Sahrawi families did not have houses in the city law and social demands that required the administration of Moroccan occupation. Said Hamad Saharan families to revisit camping in the desert if the authorities do not seek a solution to their legitimate demands for decent housing at home and schooling for their children. The protest of these families has been hysterical and Moroccan authorities do not know how to control social unrest among the Saharawi population in the words of Sahrawi human rights defender Hamad Hammad.
July 23, 2010 | Sahara Today
“I've been beaten since I was a girl”
These days, they have posted images of this woman in pain, on the ground after being beaten and clubbed by the police bloody Sunday night, appears in another photograph in the middle of a mass of people, swollen neck veins , raised fist, making the sign of victory with which they express their struggle for Sahrawi independence. It is one of human rights activists returning from visiting the camps of Tindouf.
But next day, Hayat Rguibi, sitting on the floor in the corner of a room in a typical Western Sahara is also an adolescent of only 19 who blushes when his friend, who is acting as a translator, Nasty throws innuendo. And dissolves in nervous laughter when we tell that make a good match. A teenage girl, for making this trip, you can not attend the school, where he was studying computer science. But that still aspires to learn languages, and even put to dream, to become "a lawyer, to defend my people."
For now, being so young, already has a name in the Intifada. It activist since age 14. She was born under occupation and in the current circumstances, unfortunately, seem more realistic aspirations also says in this regard: "It's good that everyone knows who you are, if it is what I aspire to respect me for my fight .
The delegation which took part is the seventh since last October visit the camps, the seventh made by human rights activists. Until then, were those who, under an agreement between the Polisario and Morocco, were chosen for a program called Bridge of trust, and who were accompanied by UN personnel. But leaders say Saharan Morocco to use that bridge just let those who can not protest, selects those businesses, or families in the jail, any circumstance that prevents them from speaking out when they reach the camps. " So now they are doing to get these activists.
In Tindouf, where Hayat has been five days, met with relatives who did not know, but which had for years been hearing about, but all he says, are somehow family. The older they began to mourn to see them. "We ask the Moroccan oppression, want to know how we live here and shed tears to see that there are young people struggling as they have done," he narrates.
However, what shocked him most was "seeing with my eyes that there is a country with a government, very intelligent people struggling to be free, it was very exciting, the truth is that I have no words to explain what I felt" . Nor to describe "the sadness of seeing that our country is split in two, it hurts a lot," he adds.
There was a key event in his life, after which he joined a peaceful struggle, but active, although "the cause", that freedom to which they aspire Sahara, the breastfed from birth. "I've seen many people hitting, beating, since I was a kid, since I remember, when you are small sometimes the police come in class, my parents have been beaten in front of me." So, however difficult it may be understood from the outside to make the children participate in events such as Sunday, when police, upon arrival, charged dozens of people waiting to receive them and had to dig in a home for all night, she seems normal: "It's good they are, to know their cause is not too hard, not so accustomed." A shock, he says, is going to have to get used to but do not want. In his case, has been through. Detentions, torture and even confesses in a whisper "attempted rape."
For Hayat, so that night is normal. "I'm glad there was Spanish, because if not, have entered into the house from the start, but do not want people to see, to know what happens." How can we explain such violence? "In any country occupied, the occupant crushes the busy, they say that we are all Moroccan, and do not want to come out to say that you are Saharan, or that our message reaches the occupied territories to the camps, we are spokesmen for something they want hide. "
But that is not going to stop, he said. She knew the risk and, even so, when the Frente Polisario chose to join the team was "honest." "I expected this reception, yes, but I'm willing to do anything for my country, give our lives if necessary." As she had several more students in the group. Afaf El Houcain or inguinal Elhaouassi, adding to the conversation, say that, if previously registered ones, "now, but we do not care."
"It's just that these women are very brave," said the translator. It is true that women, at the level of activism, are in the front row. There are no distinctions for men. Her large references are Aminatu Haidar and Algaliya Djim. "The most great!" Says Afaf.
So what do you think that there is no female presence in the Polisario Front, in the government?. "Women struggle, and is a very important part as well, but we wish they were also coming to power, entering the government, I believe we will become slowly," analyzed.
There are a couple of ideas that all want to make clear, the translator crazy for a moment: "The Sahrawi people will keep fighting, do not want money from Morocco, nor expect anything good from them, of course. So the Spanish are very grateful to our supporters, but they must press their government and the rest of Europe to do something. "
Moroccan police seized two Saharawi Human Rights defenders in occupied Laayoune
Nguia Hawasi y Hayat Rguibi
Moroccan occupation police, kidnapped on Tuesday, two Sahrawi human rights activists, and Hayat Hawasi Ngui Rguibi near a family home in Smara street in the busy capital of Laayoune, after 48 hours of his return, along with 9 other activists, a visit to the Sahrawi refugee camps, according to Saharawi human rights.
According to the statement Hawasi Ngui, a squad of plainclothes Moroccan police detained him along with her friend Rguibi Hayat. The two were forced to increase the police car, handcuffed and blindfolded in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, before being lowered on the outskirts of the city.
They were interrogated for two hours on his visit, along with 9 other activists Saharawi human rights, Algeria and the Saharawi refugee camps and the various institutions of the Frente Polisario and the Sahrawi refugees.
They were also asked about receiving the group of human rights defenders, held on Sunday at the home of former political prisoner Endur Hussein, in particular, who attended the reception organized and financed.
The two human rights activists, Ngui Rguibi Hawasi and Hayat, were released the same day after they were intimidated and physically and psychologically abused, handcuffed and blindfolded the whole time of the abduction.
Brutal assault by dozens of injured police in Laayoune
The reception of eleven Sahrawi activists returning from Tindouf to Laayoune tonight has become a pitched battle. Moroccan police have charged against Sahrawi 300 who had gathered to greet them. Laura Gallego, GUINGUINBALI journalist, is in the house that is now (1.00 GMT) surrounded by the police. The wounded, with gaps in the head and bruises all over his body, more than thirty. Among those hit are two Spanish citizens.
The return to Laayoune of eleven Saharawi human rights activists who traveled last week to the refugee camps has been traumatic. Moroccan police have made this reception in a brutal beating that killed dozens of wounded in one of the houses in which they awaited the arrival of the Sahrawi.
The police charged without a word against everyone who attended the celebration. Among them were five Spanish citizens who are in good condition. Two are now in a hotel in the Saharawi capital, while the other three remain in the house which is now surrounded by police.
Laura Gallego, GUINGUINBALI journalist, falls into this home that has, at this hour of dawn, the windows boarded up because the police waiting at the exit does not stop throwing objects and stones at the house. Several of the people in the house under siege, have tried to leave but have returned with severe injuries to his body. "As if they had been beaten," said Laura Gallego with whom we have spoken since the drafting of GuinGuinBali.
Spanish citizens, two of which have also been beaten, and have applied for consular protection from Rabat had informed them that they would send to the depositary of Spanish goods in the Western Sahara to take charge of the situation tonight.
In recent months, many human rights activists have visited the Tindouf camps and often on his return to organize some kind of receipt by the Sahrawi. However, the level of violence exhibited tonight Moroccan police, who charged without notice to blow clean and even stones against Spanish citizens who were present, has been described as "unprecedented" for expert legal sources in the Sahara issue.
Throughout the day informed of developments as they occur from Laayoune, thanks to the presence of Laura Gallego in the capital of the former Spanish colony.
July 7, 2010 | ASVDH
Testimony of Kamal Anouar, victim of Moroccan police beating
Name : Anouar Kamal
Date of birth : 27.11.1983
N. CI : SH 125862>br>
Profession : jobless
Address : Quartier Et-Aouen Av Dir Aidak N 46. El-Aaiun Western Sahara
Sunday night was not like other days, the Moroccan police stepped up patrols and imposed a blockade and curfew in the area of the airport and surrounding areas.
I stood before my family’s houses in Dir Aidak headquarter, near the headquarter of Almatar where they attended the ceremony of condolence and mourning for El Mahfoud Ali Baiba occurred.
A Moroccan police patrol approached me, one of them came out and asked me for my ID, I told him that I am near the house of my family, but he insisted that I have to presented to him. I went into the house and I gave it to him.
He asked me to help him collecting the leaflets that were on the ground, and the flags of the Polisario.
When I refused he hit me, then handcuffed me and his colleagues forced me to climb aboard the cruiser.
There, they started hitting me, screaming at me insults and racist words.
After driving a while, they handed me to another patrol led by Abdelali Alaoui ‘El-azou’.
During half an hour, they interrogated and punched me. They wanted to know who had distributed leaflets and flags of the Polisario. As I said I did not know they kept hitting me.
The patrol has brought me back to my house and they kept hitting me before my parents and bystanders
El-Aiun Western Sahara
New brutal police assault Moroccan Sahrawi activist
The Moroccan police attacked last June 17 Hassana Aalaya Sahrawi activist, member of the fifth delegation of Sahrawi activists of human rights who recently visited the Saharawi refugee camps, reported Sunday the Saharawi Ministry of Occupied Territories and the Commonwealth Sahrawi Abroad.
Aalaya Hassana together Ahamad Hali activist, member of the fourth group that visited the Saharawi refugee camps, were arrested in the street "Twenty-four of November," at 19:30 pm last Thursday day coincides with the anniversary Zemla Intifada of 1970, the ministry said in its note Saharawi.
"They Moroccan troops from the FSB and asked the activists their identity cards as a provocation, and then asked Hassana, to accompany the police car to obtain information from him, but upon arrival at the car pushed him very hard against it. He pinned her hands and legs and began to insult and torture, in a very harsh and severe in all parts of your body," adds the source.
Saharawi president asks for "intervention" of the UN SG for the release of political prisoners Abbas Sibai
The Saharawi president and Secretary General of the Frente Polisario, Mohamed Abdelaziz, called on Saturday, in a letter to Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, to intervene for the release of political prisoner Dr. Abbas Sibai, which is in hunger strike to protest his detention by Moroccan police.
"Faced with the continuing deterioration of his health due to the strike being carried to protest his arbitrary detention", we request immediate intervention of UN Secretary General, for the government of Morocco, immediately and unconditionally release Dr . Sibai Abbas Sheikh Mohamed, President Mohamed Abdelaziz said in his letter to Ban Ki-moon.
The Saharawi president said that "the Moroccan authorities have harassed and arrested Dr. Abbas Sibai, for many years, shows this is his arrest on June 11 in Casablanca, for his position on the question of Western Sahara, and adherence to United Nations resolutions, in particular the need to respect the right of the Saharawi people to self determination. "
We must first apologise for being all this late in thanking all those who supported us. That was not certainly because of the daily constraints that come after suspending a hunger strike, but it was rather due to our conscious awareness of our incapacity to generate an intellectual, linguistic production that can guarantee a minimum of equity to you.
In other words, it was very difficult for us to adequately qualify the exceptional militant action you have been doing. It was exceptional in its honesty and perseverance; an action which was characterised by its continuous creativity in ending up an atmosphere of satisfaction towards an unacceptable reality in the Western Sahara, existing against the international and humnitarian laws.
This reality is being hidden from the whole world. It is being marketed under the names of ''Stability and Development''. It hides unimaginable crimes, and it is being supervised by France, unfortunately; the country which pretends that its legitimity has been founded on the defense of liberties. Meanwhike, it is offering Morocco the umbrella to continue its prosecution of the peaceful Sahrawis in the occupied part of the Western Sahara.
Not only did your invaluable support help us, as Sahrawi hunger-striking prisoners in the Moroccan jails, overcome whatever difficulties and continue our struggle, but it also set up a large dynamism which gathered different defenders of human dignity to denounce, in strong and collective ways, the inhuman crimes perpetrated against the Sahrawi civilians in the occupied part of the Western Sahara.
Hence, a mending measure has to take place as soon as possible; that is to say, an urgent need to adequate laws as far as the protection of human rights is concerned has now become indispensible. Simply put, a mechanism to monitor human rights in the Western Sahara has to be included in the mandate of the Minurso on the ground.
For these reasons, we should like to address our gratitudes to the international and Moroccan human rights organisations, namely Amnesty International, which has been leading a strong campaign through its branches, Frontline, Human Rights Watch, R. F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in the USA, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, Al Wassit ( =The Mediator) Organisation for Democracy and Human Rights ( Morocco), The Moroccan Forum For Truth and Equity, The Moroccan National Body for the Solidarity with all the Political Prisoners, the members of the defense body, who had been following our arrest from the start, the Sahrawi committees and organisations such as The Local Committee of Salé ( composed of Sahrawi defenders and university students), the continental and regional parliaments such as the European Parliament, The African Parliament, the national parliaments from Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Nigeria,etc.
Our thanks also should be addressed to various governmental institutions, The National Commmittee Responsible for Following the Sahrawi political prisoners' conditions, hunger striking in the Moroccan jails, The Coordination Committee in Spain, the different political parties, trade unions and associations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Australia, the civil society in both Spain and Algeria, The Algerian National Committee of the Solidarity with the Sahrawi People, Annahj Addimoqrati (=the Democratic Path) party from Morocco, some Moroccan noble journalists, The Christian Religious Movement all over the world, the Nobel Prize-winners in different fields, the Committees and associations of solidarity with the Sahrawi people, the mass media in different forms such as TV channels, radios, newspapers and websites, the lawyers, human rights campaigners, journalists, artists, poets, actors, film-makers, musicians, sportspeople, the families of the disappeared and the kidnapped and the political prisoners, and finally the brave Sahrawi people wherever it is and the Sahrawi students at the Moroccan universities and abroad.
To all these and those whom we have not been able to mention, we say millions of thanks; We were deeply moved by your help and we will never forget your historical support. It is obvious that it embodies the strong will of all the noble people in this world to struggle for the prevailing of human honest values until the dignity of Man is imposed.
Again, thank you very much ….
And long live the international solidarity movement worldwide for the respect of human rights in the Western Sahara and the world.
The Sahrawi human rights defenders, the six prisoners of conscience:
- Ali Salem Tamek,
- Brahim Dahan
- Ahmed Naciri
- Yahdih Ettarrouzi
- Rachid Sghayar
- Saleh Lebaihi
April 30th, 2010
The Local Prison of Salé, Morocco.
April 23, 2010
U.N. worried about human rights in Western Sahara
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the head of Western Sahara's independence movement Polisario on Friday he was worried about alleged violations of human rights in the resource-rich territory.
After a meeting with Mohamed Abdelaziz, Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, the U.N. press office said in a statement that Ban had expressed his commitment to finding a solution to the 35-year-old conflict "that provides for the self determination for the people of Western Sahara."
"The Secretary-General stated that he remains very concerned about alleged violations of human rights," the statement said. "(Ban) said that his personal envoy, Christopher Ross, and the (U.N.) Secretariat will continue to work to promote the human rights of Sahwaris."
Earlier this month the Polisario sent Ban a letter complaining about his latest report on Western Sahara to the U.N. Security Council, accusing him of inadequately addressing their concerns about human rights abuses by Morocco.
The conflict centres on a disputed territory slightly bigger than Britain with fewer than half a million people known as Sahrawis. The area is rich in phosphates -- used in making fertilizers -- and, potentially, offshore oil and gas.
Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara in 1975 and is now offering it autonomy. But the Polisario Front, which fought a guerrilla war until 1991, demands a referendum with independence as one option.
Western Sahara is littered with landmines and the remnants of unexploded ordnance from the war.
Morocco and Polisario, which is backed by Algeria, put forward their latest proposals three years ago but formal negotiations broke down in acrimony after less than a year.
The two sides failed to make any progress in informal talks in Austria in August 2009 and in New York state in February 2010. Ban said in his report, published earlier this month, that Morocco-Polisario talks remained deadlocked.
Ban recommended to the U.N. Security Council that the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara stay in place for another year, through April 30, 2011. The 233-strong mission includes military observers, troops and police.
Ali Salem Tamek is one of six Sahrawi activists on hunger strike in prison
Amnesty International has called on the Moroccan authorities to end the ongoing harassment and intimidation of Sahrawi activists, as five of six who have been detained since last October began the fourth week of a hunger strike in protest at their detention without trial.
The hunger strikers are among a number of Sahrawi activists who have faced harassment and intimidation after visiting refugee camps in Algeria administered by the Polisario Front, which calls for the independence of Western Sahara and has set up a self-proclaimed government-in-exile.
One group was beaten with batons at Laayoune airport last Wednesday when they returned to Western Sahara from the Tindouf refugee camps.
The six detainees on hunger strike were among seven Sahrawi activists arrested on 8 October 2009 at Mohammed V airport in Casablanca when they returned from visiting the Tindouf camps in Algeria.
"We are increasingly concerned for the health of these detainees as they continue with their protest," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa programme.
"In fact, we consider them prisoners of conscience imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression, and we are urging the Moroccan authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally."
Five of the six began a hunger strike on 18 March in protest against their continuing detention without trial, and the sixth joined in earlier this week.
Although they are all civilians, they have been referred for trial by the Military Court on charges of undermining Morocco’s security including its "territorial integrity", but six months after their arrest no date for their trial has yet been set.
The six - Ahmed Alansari, Brahim Dahane, Yahdih Ettarouzi, Rachid Sghir, Ali Salem Tamek, and Saleh Labihi, who joined the hunger strike last Monday – are all held at Salé Prison, near Rabat, far from their homes in Western Sahara.
Moroccan police detain, abuse young Sahrawi woman and young child
Moroccan police unlawfully detained Ngaya El-Haouassi, a Saharawi student, on a street in El-Aaiun yesterday, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. They forced her into a patrol car and headed towards the outskirts of the city. There they subjected her to questioning about her involvement in the events in the city of El-Aaiun, Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to Ngaya El-Haouassi (age 19) she was initially followed in the street by the police around 22:20 after visiting one of her fiends wounded in the demonstrations.
She unsuccessfully tried to take refuge in the house of fellow Sahrawi citizen.
She was detained and taken to the northern suburbs of the city, near the Oued Saguia El-Hamra river, where she was been abused under the supervision of Abdul Aziz Anoush (called ‘Touhima’) and Khaled Barka. These two Moroccan officers have involved in a series of violations of tens of Saharawi citizens since 2005.
She was let go at 00:00.
Additionally, Moroccan police forces have abused an eight year old Sahrawi child while he was playing with his friends in the streets of El-Mamoun, inside the Maatallah neighborhood.
According to the child’s mother, Mrs. Saaida Moussaoui, who met with ASVDH, her son, Rguibi Baba, was beaten by a Moroccan patrol, who did not take into account his young age.
His mother appealed to everyone’s conscience in the world to force the Moroccan government to cease its violations of human rights, to impose security for the Sahrawi people and to lift the siege imposed against international news media in Western Sahara.
El-Aiun Western Sahara
11 March 2010
March 10, 2010 | Gente Digital
"If we stopped near a well, planes strafed us"
First voices to a story on the tragedy of the Sahrawi silenced.
Dagousha Lamad, 40 years:
"I was born in Laayoune in Laayoune truth. I was 6 years old when he became the Green March. The Moroccans imposed a curfew, they began to surround the city with barbed wire and many Saharawi fled. I escaped with my mother, my grandmother, my sisters and a baby, that was my little cousin. The men stayed to fight.
We walked inland into the desert, at night. Was pretty cold. We met many families, a caravan of women, children and some goats, fleeing without knowing where, just run. We had no nothing: no food, no warm clothes ... One day the planes came from Morocco. We passed over and dropped bombs, the earth jumped on jets and the ground trembled. The women kept small children inside the MELFA [the long dress of the Sahrawi] to protect them. The children were crying, mothers screaming, we were very scared. When the bombing ended, there were many dead bodies. We were bombarded day and night. If we stopped near a well and a lot of people got together to try to drink, came the planes and strafing us.
We walked for days through the desert, in the cold at night and heat during the day. Younger children rode on donkeys or goats. Sometimes they died of hunger and thirst. I bled the feet, flayed from walking.
Thank God, the Algerians came to meet us with cars and trucks. To us got into a car and travel in the dark, without lights, so we would not discover the aircraft.
We stopped at a place in the desert, where they set up canvas tents and set up a first camp. I remember those who were coming after us came families with donkeys who were dying of exhaustion, and others came in cars so crowded that there were women and children clinging to the outside, hanging from the windows and doors. The car could hardly move.
In this camp we were a month. But suddenly we were told that the Moroccans were approaching and fled again. This time they are not attacked. We settled into camp Rabbouni. And months later they took us to Smara, where we lived since. 34 years ago.
We were a year and a half without seeing the men, they still fought the Moroccans. Then came occasionally to visit in the leaves but in those war years women had to take care of building the camps. Where there were only shops, we started to build houses of adobe. I worked in the construction of two schools. Schooling for children was very important. The women did female teachers. Organized the delivery of food. They kept building houses. If there are family men, husbands, brothers, sons, they can do the heavier tasks. But at first there were no men. My husband suffered severe injuries in the head by an exploding bomb, and for a long time could not even move. In an uncle of mine was amputated arm. Three others were killed.
The first years were very hard, went hungry, we had no recourse except the help of the Algerians, God bless. From the 90 international aid began arriving, and since then we are better. We send rice, lentils, flour, sugar, tea. And doctors are. To me a Spanish doctor removed a large lump me that I had left between the ear and jaw.
If I hope to return to Laayoune?
It is our land. There have brothers and uncles who have not seen for 34 years. My biggest dream in life would return to Laayoune.
But do not want any more wars. My husband is military and is willing to take up arms again against Morocco. Young people also say so. But three of my uncles were killed, I know mothers who have lost all their children in war. I love my land but I do not want men to die again.
From now on, my house will always be home. If you go back another year or if they are friends of yours, always have your house here. And when we really Sahara, you will also have a house there. And I offer you fish. "
Morocco denied a passport for a second time to a Sahrawi activist
The Moroccan authorities in Laayoune refused a second time to obtain your passport to the Saharawi human rights activist Aminatou Amida, as denounced by the Polisario Front in a statement picked up by the Sahrawi news agency SPS.
Amida Amidah Luali activist sister, explained that introduced the "guard issued" by the authorities to obtain his passport and was "surprised" by the management of passport services, who "denied" their right to obtain this document, without specifying any reason.
The Polisario said in his note that "the Saharawi activist was denied obtaining a passport previously dated 7 September 2009, by the Moroccan authorities in the city of Laayoune occupied by his participation in numerous peaceful demonstrations claiming the right of the Saharawi people to self determination. "
Sahrawi activist's sister was abducted, tortured and constantly harassed by Moroccan intelligence services repeatedly says SPS. Together with his family, has filed numerous complaints with the Court of Appeals and Laayoune, without become investigated.
Aminetu Amidah was arrested in July 2007 in Laayoune on the door of his house shortly after a peaceful demonstration in the same neighborhood. In November 2007, Moroccan police broke into the family home and beat and arrested the activist, his mother and one sister.
In June 2008 she was fired from his job for his political position regarding the conflict of Western Sahara. Born in 1983 in Laayoune, has actively participated in demonstrations for the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.
February 19, 2010
The Saharawi political prisoners are mistreated and deprived of medical treatment in the local prison of Ait Mel.lul
The administration of the local prison of Ait Mel.lul deliberately punishing and abusing a group of Saharawi political prisoners who are serving time in prison since 1 March 2008, ranging between 4 and 15 years in prison for defending the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and participation in peaceful demonstrations.
As reported by relatives of the Saharawi political prisoners, Yahia Mohamed Lháfed Iiza, Nayem Buba, and Salama Charafi, prisoners are in terrible conditions and dangerous because of their treatment by the prison administration is providing the said prison, openly and in against all laws and humanitarian principles of Human Rights.
Buba Nayem is confined in a punishment cell for a period of 40 days, being subjected to beatings and insults accompanied by insults and the threat to proceed to trial again, to double the sentence is to comply, which is 4 years of effective imprisonment.
As a result of these practices shameful and degrading to human dignity, the prisoner suffered facial injuries and other areas, why the prison authorities denied permission to visit their relatives, to hide from them the traces of torture the victim was her son.
The administration of that prison continues to strengthen its control over the defense Saharawi human rights and prisoner of conscience Lháfed Iiza Mohamed Yahia, who has been confined in solitary confinement, away from the prisoners and deprived of visits and medical treatment, Despite being plagued by many chronic diseases, kidney disease, acute asthma, rheumatism and so on. This is the result of serious complications from a hunger strike he made during more than two months, the prison administration responded to their demands and to the rest of the Saharawi political prisoners.
The administration of the local prison of Ait Mel.lul, and through it the general delegation of prison administration, refusing to treat medically the Charafi Salama Saharawi political prisoner, suffering from kidney disease and hypertension since about a year ago . For this reason has toured several hospitals in Agadir and Marrakech, which has finally produced a worsening of his health, the result of medical malpractice, the ineffectiveness of the drugs, and lack of thorough medical tests and monitoring by medical specialists. He was transferred to this prison just 5 days ago, coming from the prison infirmary local Inzegán to throw in a crowded cell for common criminals, without the prison administration has provided you a place to sleep or sit and not respond to their demands with regard to food, medicines, and being assigned to the prison infirmary.
Along with these prisoners, there are two Saharawi students, Baba Ali Baba and Iusuf Lbrik Tumi, who were prevented from continuing his university studies, and also deprived them of a set of basic rights, such as family visits , recreation, contact with their defense and their families, both by telephone and by correspondence and medical treatment.
This dangerous and tragic situation is framed in the context of continued harassment of Sahrawi political prisoners in various Moroccan prisons and requires that human rights associations to act quickly by pressing on the Moroccan state to cease the abuse, torture and appropriate to provide the treatment and medicines they need, in addition to allowing students to continue their graduate studies so they can get a doctorate in Moroccan universities where they study.
Executive Office of the grouping of Sahrawi Human Rights. CODESA
February 17, 2010
"The Moroccan prison was like Abu Ghraib." Ghalia Djimi. Victims of forced disappearance and vice president of ASVDH
"The Moroccan prison was like Abu Ghraib." Ghalia Djimi. Victims of forced disappearance and vice president of ASVDH
Ghalia Djimi (Agadir, 1961) left his slippers in the sand. 1987-ran just days ago that the Moroccan police had kidnapped her and the girl-Saharan felt sure she would be buried alive. So while walking to a detention center on the beach of El Aaiun, did not bother to collect his sandals. When the jailer asked him to do so, Ghalia said that it was not worth putting on to die. With sarcasm, the guard replied: "Not going to bury you alive. Your life is too precious: we will let you die, drop by drop." Ghalia, now vice president of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH) reports by telephone from Laayoune could never forget that day, or three years and seven months he spent after blindfolded and suffering atrocious torture. His case is one of those contained in the complaint of genocide against the Saharawi people to judge Baltasar Garzon filed in 2007 against 13 senior Moroccan.
In 1984, the Moroccans came and took my grandmother for having given shelter to many passers-by Sahrawi Agadir (Morocco), where we had emigrated. Since then we have not seen since. I lived this with much pain and return to Laayoune, when I learned that a United Nations commission would visit the city, participated in organizing the demonstrations. We thought that Moroccans would not dare to stop us, but we were wrong. They arrested about 700 people, about a hundred left us locked up. Among them Aminattou [Haidar] Brahim Dahan [now imprisoned] and me.
You compare the Moroccan prisons to Abu Ghraib.
Yes, beatings, mockery, rags soaked with chemicals and urine that got us into the mouth and made me lose almost all their hair, and the bites of dogs, of which I still have scars were like that reflected in those photos. The difference is that the Iraqis could afford what was known, we do not. Nobody spoke then of what was happening in Western Sahara.
Morocco does not give permission to the victims' association.
Yes, it is very serious that we are prevented from working in our association of victims, who are his: the victims of the Moroccan State. Freedom of association is a fundamental right that violates Morocco. If the Moroccans want their actions align with his speech, should respect our freedoms.
You do not believe in the autonomy proposed by Morocco.
I do not believe anything he says Morocco. How can I believe the proposed broad autonomy while at the same time deprives us Saharawi rights such as freedom of association? Regionalization [announced by King Mohammed VI] is the same: only serve the Moroccan political parties.
Do you have hope in a possible business?
No. Of course we encourage you to find a peaceful solution to this conflict, but as the big powers such as France and the United States, do not press firmly to Morocco, things will stay the same. The proof is that, after everything they have said the Moroccans, the arrests continue, there remains the Sahrawi political prisoners and we still can exercise our freedoms.
What would change if the UN mission in the Sahara ensure human rights?
MINURSO If [the UN mission] will be responsible for human rights monitoring, when abuse is reported, we would no longer only the Sahrawi human rights associations, but also United Nations. This would give us a lot of credibility.
February 8, 2010 | IAJUWS
ACTIVIST DETENTION OF SAHARA "HASSANE DOUEHI" in Tiznit (08-02-2010)
THE ACTIVIST Saharans M. DOUEHI HASSANE illegally detained by Moroccan police in the City of TIZNIT at 03:30 HOUR 08 February 2010.
Sahrawi activist human rights defender, M. HASSANE b> was arrested at dawn today, 08 February 2010, at 03:30 hours of the morning in the town of Tiznit, which had moved to Dolores Travieso Spanish jurists and Julio Vega Representatives of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers to assist the Appellate Trials are held today from 09:00 am, against Saharawi activists: JALIHENNA WARGZIZ, Chah AZMAN, HASAN EL HAIRACH, BAYNAHO FADLI, FAKALAH MOHAMED TAGUIOLAH, SAWAJ YAMAL, Chakra Yahdih, BOUKANIN AZIZ, CHIAHOU HAMZA, Taher Nourdin.
M. Hassane, and the two Jurists International Observers, Dolores Travieso and Julio Vega, were resting in the hotel "Idou" of Tiznit, when at 02:40 pm entered into the same group of 10 Moroccan police circulated the halls taking the same without permit passage of any person, and directly went to the room where we slept the Sahrawi activist M. HASSANE starting to smash the door.
The Jurists International Observers, on hearing the shots went into the hall and the police asked what was the reason for his presence there, answering those who had come to "take the Sahrawi activist. Lawyers asked the police officers who identified and identify the reasons why it wanted to take the "Sahrawi activist," and they answered that are not identified, that THEY are the police and sent the crown prosecutor, and proceeded to open the door to the room of M. Hassane, and no information of rights or grounds for arrest, they placed the shackles on his hands and took him away from the hotel.
Finally the police told the Legal Observers that detention was unrelated to the Trials are held this day from 09:00 hours at the Court of Appeal in Tiznit, and M. HASSANE would be released at 13.00 today.
Tiznit, February 8, 2010.
January 29, 2010 | ASVDH
Ahmed Mahmoud Haddi (El Kainan) appears in court
Ahmed Mahmoud Haddi (El Kainan), a Sahrawi human rights defender and political prisoner, appeared Thursday, January 28, 2010, before the Moroccan investigating judge of the Court of Appeal in Rabat for a second time, dealing with his arrest in November in Casablanca. The charges come under common and criminal law.
His lawyer, Mohamed Sabari, who ensuring the defense of the accused, attended the hearing.
Mr Haddi was returned to prison without the court setting the date of his trial.
ASVDH believes that the arrest of Mr. Haddi is due to its political commitments on the issue of Western Sahara. The arrest occurred during a period of increased repression by the Moroccan state against Saharawi human rights defenders, starting October 6, 2009.
Morocco: Lift Travel Restrictions on Sahrawi Activists
(Rabat) - Morocco should immediately end an effective ban on foreign travel against selected Sahrawi activists, Human Rights Watch said today. Since August 2009, the government has revived this arbitrary and repressive measure, which it had used frequently more than a decade ago but less frequently since then.
According to information obtained by Human Rights Watch, in recent months authorities have turned back at least 13 Sahrawi activists, whose papers were reportedly in order at the airport or land borders, confiscating passports from seven of them, without providing a legal basis for doing so. Authorities have also failed to approve passport renewal applications of at least three other Sahrawi activists, who said they had submitted all of the necessary paperwork weeks and in some cases more than one year earlier for a process that normally takes no more than a few days.
"Morocco is again holding the right to travel hostage to a political test," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "This is reminiscent of the days when authorities arbitrarily provided or withdrew the passports of dissidents at will."
The restrictions on foreign travel are part of a pattern of increased repression against Sahrawis who oppose Morocco's sovereignty claim over the Western Sahara and who favor self-determination for the contested territory. In a speech affirming the new, harder line toward Sahrawi activists, King Mohammed VI declared on November 6:
Now is the time for all government authorities concerned to strive doubly hard, show great resolve and vigilance, enforce the law and deal vigorously with any infringement of the nation's sovereignty, security, stability and public order....Let me clearly say there is no more room for ambiguity or deceit: either a person is Moroccan, or is not....One is either a patriot, or a traitor....One cannot enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship, only to abuse them and conspire with the enemies of the homeland...
A few minutes ago I spoke with a recognized Sahrawi activist from El Aaium. I will not say his name because as we all know they read this page daily mazjén services.
What he told me it is scary, but unfortunately also so ordinary that is not news in any media, even after the cyclone Aminattou.
After the storm comes the calm, calm media, amid a storm of torture and abuse to which they are subjected Saharawi occupied territories.
The seven activists jailed after visiting the camps are in terrible conditions, like all prisoners of conscience in Moroccan prisons.
I have talked about the situation Dagje LACHGARE, which currently remains unconscious, from mid-afternoon. You have reached the limit of psychic suffering, has stopped eating. It makes it a poor anxiolytic, or antidepressant medication to help her. This maximum pain has led to the abyss, is flooded. It is a heroine because she has endured despair until the last moment, until the mind forgets how to protect themselves. The brave is not he who is without fear if not facing him, though not win, but is extreme cruelty. To my Dagje is a heroine, an unnamed heroine.
We asked this person to be their voice, they continue their struggle but they know that their shouts echoing them back.
Let your speakers amplify their cry, in your blogs, your walls with your contacts in press, AID Dagje in your Facebook status in your will.
January 20, 2010
Moroccan authorities deny passports to two Western Saharan rights defenders
Mr Dah Mustapha and Mrs El Ghalia Djimi, ASVDH members, have said that the Moroccan passport authorities have refused to issue them their passports.
Ms. Ghalia deposited her file on 24 December 2009 and Mr. Mustapha has filed his on 5 January 2010.
In the normal case when a person has deposited a file, it is available in three days. Thus Moroccan authorities continue to flagrantly deny freedom of movement to all Western Saharan human rights defenders.
ASVDH strongly denounces these practices against human rights that deliberately deny passports, driver’s licenses, and other documents.
These practices clearly violate the right of movement
The group of Sahrawi activists prevented from passports are:
- Brahim Sabbar since 2000.
- Bashir Khfawni since 2003.
- Daddach Mouhamed, Larbi Masoud, Ahmed Soubaii, Atiqo Baray, Brahim Ismaili in October 2009.
- Sultana Khaya in October 2009
- Abderahman Bougarfa in November 2009.
- Hmad hammad, in January 2010
- Hassana Duihi planned his car and his papers in 2006.
The ASVDH launches an urgent appeal to the UN, the AU and all international NGOs to intervene to the Moroccan authorities in order to deliver the documents to the human rights defenders so they can ensure their roles in raising awareness of ‘international opinion in the horrible realities that Sahrawi population living under Moroccan rule.
January 10, 2010 | Terc3ra Información
The mothers of 15 young Sahrawi disappeared begin a hunger strike by 24 hours
After four years of the disappearance of the fifteen young Sahrawi marquéis by the authorities and the effort to know their whereabouts and clarify the conditions of their abduction, their families have decided to start a hunger strike for 24 hours from day 24 December 2009 at the headquarters of the Democratic Confederation of Laayoune.
To this end, the families of the kidnapped fifteen young Sahrawi appeal to human rights defenders and civil society support in this struggle to clarify the whereabouts of their children.
In December 2005, fifteen young men disappeared in Laayoune. Since then, their mothers have formed the so-called Committee of 15 to ascertain his fate. At first, the Moroccan Government stated that they had died in the sinking of an open boat trying to reach the Canaries. Today disclaims any responsibility for what happened and say they are investigating. But his family believe they may be in a secret prison. In their complaints, this group of families has been attacked by Moroccan authorities in the sit and events they organize. They complain that they can not take to the streets to protest with photos of their children.
The Saharan denounced the detention of another person by visiting Haidar
Boija Shrif El Karhi
The Committee of Defense of the Right of Self Determination of People of Western Sahara said yesterday that another person was arrested while trying to visit the Saharawi activist Aminatou Haidar, at his home in Laayoune. In this case, and after the Mint Fatimetu Rahel, who reported that he was detained and tortured on Christmas Day by visiting the activist who was on hunger strike for 32 days in Lanzarote, it would be a former prisoner and disappeared Saharawi The Shrif Boije Karhi, 40 years old, blind and father of three children.
According to these sources, contact with delegates from the Occupied Territories, Boije was arrested on Wednesday 6 Moroccan officials when he was outside the house of Haidar stone house in the neighborhood, intending to visit, as they have done or trying to do, many Sahrawi activist since he was able to return home with their children, on 16 December.
The CODAPSO said a police brigade Moroccan Boije denied access when he was at the door of the house Aminattou, "denying it access to use of force despite being a blind person." Earlier in 1987 he was kidnapped by the Moroccan security services, with more than 50 Saharawi citizens "among whom was Aminatou Haidar," recalls the source of the Sahara. From there, they add, Boije Shrif was missing for more than four years in military prison known by the initials PC SIMI in Laayoune, the former headquarters of the Spanish Legion "and become secret prison by the Moroccan regime, where they lay many Saharawi disappeared from the 70s to late 90s, "describe.
At the same time, Western Sahara Resource Watch reported yesterday that on his website published a list of Spanish companies that are plundering the natural resources of Western Sahara.
According to its director, Carmen Giner, "the first entity that must be exposed is the very government of Spain, who benefit directly from signing agreements with Morocco, nationally and across the EU."
Sahrawi refugees walking to school in one of the Tindouf camps.
Although there trascencido so far, the investigation by Judge Baltasar Garzon in October 2007 against 13 Moroccan police responsible for the crimes of genocide and torture against the Saharawi people continues. The last step has been to seek permission from Algeria to the magistrate can move to the Tindouf refugee camps to interview 13 victims of these crimes against humanity.
It is the second time the owner of the Central Court of Instruction No. 5 is directed to the Algerian authorities to seek permission to travel to Tindouf. The first time was a year ago, on 7 January 2009. Algeria responded to this request for judicial assistance should be addressed directly to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
With the report in favor of the prosecution, Garzon came back to Algeria on 16 November. The reason is that because Spain does not officially recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic can not contact her or send any letters rogatory. So the way to access it via Tindouf Algeria, and Morocco is very difficult to positively respond to such a request.
Most of the 13 people who were Garzon wants to question witnesses to "genocide of the arrest or abduction, interrogation, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" and the "forced displacement" that was submitted many Saharans.
The facts investigated in the National Court occurred between 1976 and 1987. They began with the start of the occupation of the Sahara Garzon explained in its order of admissibility, when there was a series of disappearances in Smara. The date to limit the investigated period coincides with several kidnappings in Laayoune.
Crimes against Haidar
The initial complaint, which also describes the crimes they were victims of human rights activist Saharan Aminatou Haidar and his family, was initially directed against 31 senior police Moroccan 541 disappearances. The lack of specificity of the allegations forced the complainant to reduce to 13 the number of defendants.
Among the highlights defendants General Hosni Benslimane, head of the Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie, who was honored by Spain with the Great Cross of Isabel la Católica in 2005. He is accused of being "the higher allegedly ordered and directed the campaign of arrests and subsequent disappearances in Smara in 1976."
It also shows the former head of the Department of Homeland Security Benhachem Abdelhafid, which is considered one of the main people involved in the kidnappings of Laayoune. He also ordered the torture that were committed in 1988, practices which involved other defendants.
From the reply given by Algeria to the request by Garzon will determine the pace at which the investigation initiated.
AFAPREDESA condemns the health status of Degja Lachgar
At a time when the UN calls for redoubled efforts to promote confidence between the conflicting parties and to overcome the current impasse on the question of Western Sahara in order to find a peaceful and just solution in accordance with international laws that guarantee the Saharawi people's right to self determination, and in particular the current human rights situation in the occupied zones of Western Sahara, following the scandal that has affected the Sahrawi human rights activist and President of the Sahrawi Association Human Rights Aminatou Haidar, in the forced deportation from their land by the government of Morocco and in complicity with the government of Spain, on 14 November 2009, under the brutal escalation announced by the King of Morocco Mohammed VI his recent speech on day 06 of November 2009, who gave orders directly to a campaign of arrests, harassment, persecution and systematic repression against the Saharawi population in general and especially human rights activists.
Against the peaceful demands of the Sahrawi people to demand their inalienable right to self determination and independence, the Moroccan authorities have stepped up surveillance on the houses of Saharawi activists and prevents them from making visits to the cities of Western Sahara and South Morocco. It has also stepped up surveillance of activist movements and pressure on them to prevent them from performing their activities in which exposed the gross and systematic human rights violations committed by Moroccan authorities against the Saharawi civilians in the occupied areas, the southern Morocco and in Moroccan universities. Such is the case of seven Sahrawi human rights activists who are now, since last October 8, 2009 in Moroccan prisons, only legally have visited the liberated areas of the RASD and the Sahrawi refugee camps to reunited with their families, and they separated after 34 years because of the Moroccan invasion the Saharan territory, and today these activists, after being tried by a military tribunal found in Moroccan prison of Salé subjected to all kinds of physical and psychological torture.
AFAPREDESA expresses its deep concern at the deterioration of the seven Sahrawi activists and especially the complicated health status of Saharawi human rights activist and former political prisoner Degja Lachgar, since in his cell begins to suffer serious illnesses and ailments life-threatening as a result of abuse and the intransigence of the administrative authorities of the prison, which deprives them of the minimum rights including the right to rest, family visits, correspondence, telephone communications, direct meetings with relatives, reading newspapers and books, as well as denial of treatment and medication.
Faced with this grave situation, the government entirely responsible AFAPREDESA Moroccan life and safety and Degja Lachgar
International public opinion and international human rights organizations to exert pressure on Morocco to release Degja Lachgar and his six companions, and the release of all Saharawi political prisoners in various Moroccan prisons and the revelation of the whereabouts of more 500 Saharawi disappeared.
The United Nations, the International Community in general and the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), to pressure the Moroccan colonial regime to end all forms of oppression committed the Sahrawi people to join the international legitimacy and the implementation of its resolutions to the holding of a fair and transparent to enable the people of Western Sahara self-determine their fate.
To all Human Rights organizations in the world endeavor to send a medical commission to examine the health status of Saharawi human rights activist and former political prisoner Dedja Lachgar and report it.
Sahrawi activist is a very serious health due to neglect
Salama Charafi activist Saharawi prisoner, 29, almost ten months has been suffering health problems that could lead to death due to medical negligence of police headquarters, the administration of prisons and rehabilitation, the Hospital Hassan II, Agadir Ibn Tofail Hospital and Marrakech.
These hospitals have refused to meet his deteriorating health.
Sahrawi activists who are imprisoned, including Charafi Salama, complain about the medical treatment they receive, because it makes no spending on drugs for the Saharawi prisoners who are ill.
Salama Charafi is in a very serious health condition, his body is swollen and inflamed due to kidney disease. It has a diseased kidney is unable to move, speak or eat blood and urine.
Fatimetu Mint Rahel, detained and tortured by visiting Aminatou Haidar
The Moroccan occupation authorities in the city of El Aaiun arrested on Friday, December 25 at 20h at the young Saharawi Fatimetu Rahel Sbai mint when he tried to visit the house of activist Aminatou Haidar stone house in the neighborhood. Several plainclothes officers stopped her and took her to a police car to be questioned for three hours.
The Saharawi citizen reported that the officers forcibly broke into a car of the police unit that guards the house Aminetu and asked about their relationship and reasons for his visit to Aminatou Haidar. Fatimetu responded that the reason is they have all the Saharawi congratulate Aminatou Haidar for his return. They also asked about the influence of the Saharan Haidar between following his return to his home and family and what is its relationship with the Sahrawi activist Ahmed Sbai.
Fatimetu was conducted after the police station where he was tortured during more than two hours and released after three hours of questioning in a sorry state. His body has bruises from the beating administered by shouting Viva Polisario, Viva the Saharawi Republic.
December 26, 2009 | Terc3ra Información
The suppression Moroccac is primed with Saharawi women
The public security forces Moroccan repressive proceeded to assault the house of the family Ahl Daha, known as "Jouda" in the city of Smara, Western Sahara. A group of security personnel arrived at her residence in a blue Volkswagen car with 136,781 enrollment, at approximately 18.30. The registration of family possessions and their property was accompanied by insults and humiliation for the whole family and for neighbors.
After the brutal intervention against the Sahrawi family, mother, Fatma Bent Hanoun, 71 years old, who suffers from diabetes and heart failure, and is blind, fell in a dual crisis: cardiac and stress. She was taken to hospital where he received no help or immediate care, by contrast, in the emergency department ignored her, left her waiting on a bed. Doctors refused to give a medical certificate proving their status, which proves the complicity of the hospital with the authorities, forgetting their humanitarian duties such as doctors, seeing how far the officers of a feudal regime of terror. It is noteworthy that this brutal assault was carried out by the notorious "executioners" who use torture and intimidation, psychological and physical, against the Sahrawi: Khaled Boumahdi (aka Zany), which has an officer; Boktaib Salem (Ould Messaoud), Agent Amchico Abdel Rahim, Agent Albahili Abdel-Samad, officer.
Aminatou Haidar is locked in his home in Laayoune, Zmla neighborhood, where he is visited by his family more direct . Her boyfriend Bashir has been seen only once
The bride and best friend of the Sahrawi activist reported that police prevented them from visiting. A week after leaving the strike is "weak and low stress" Yesterday marked one week since Aminattou Haidar returned to Laayoune after more than a month of hunger strike at the airport of Lanzarote. His friends and political comrades have complained to "LA RAZÓN" that the Sahrawi activist is under "house arrest" since he stepped into the administrative capital of Western Sahara. The jubilation over the victory of Haidar's tenacity has given way to concern for their enforced isolation.
The district Zmla ( "Stone House" under Spanish protectorate)'s seven-day siege by Moroccan security forces. All streets leading to the road Birjadid (formerly "New Well"), where is the house of Haidar, are cut and taken by agents and vehicles of all kinds. Lejfani Bachir, the boyfriend of the "Sahrawi Gandhi," he told this newspaper that he has only seen once. "It was by chance. He got a mess on the side street and managed to sneak without being seen. Only let in people who have their name, their closest relatives, "explains by phone. "This was four days ago and she looked so weak. I was particularly touched to see her. She is sick but with high spirits, as always. And no wonder. The 32 days passed without food Haidar, sitting in the airport's international terminal Guacimeta, have served to place on the map a dispute which had long been forgotten. The "human rights defenders" Sahrawi (as they call themselves) are very aware of this victory. "Although there are a lot of repression, we have achieved something. Nobody expected that the strike of the conflict Aminattou resurrected. Now we know we are not alone in this, "Bashir continued.
Haidar denounces that Morocco remains under house arrest
Haidar, at his home in Laayoune on his return.
She can not go out. Sahrawi activist Aminatou Haidar has ensured that the Moroccan police had surrounded his house and kept under house arrest since she returned home after the hunger strike held in Spain.
Haidar promised to redouble his struggle to defend human rights in the former Spanish territory despite what he describes as Moroccan repression.
"The siege continues. I am under house arrest. My relatives and neighbors have problems visit. The shops in my neighborhood are suffering from the blockade," said Haidar.
Mothers of the 15 Sahrawi abducted December 2005. This hunger strike will begin at 12 midnight on Thursday, 24 , 2004 to 12 pm at night on 25 of December,2009.
Moroccan Government have been ignoring their rightful demand to unveil the faith of their disappeared sons. The Sahrawi mothers also call out to all the peoples of the world and all governments to put pressure on Morocco to reveal the fate of their children. Women of Western Sahara are launching an appeal to the people of the world to start putting pressure on Morocco to stop mass violations of human rights committed against them by the Moroccan authorities in Western Sahara.
December 21, 2009 | El País
Feature: Fear of the police in Laayoune
The Saharawi human rights activist Djimi El Ghalia, yesterday, in Laayoune.
Fear of police in Laayoune. Injured in the demonstrations to celebrate the return of Aminatou Haidar dare not go to the doctor for fear of being detained in hospital.
A Maalainin Busofa Moroccan police broke her nose during the crackdown on the demonstrations that were held in Laayoune on Thursday to receive Aminatou Haidar. When asked the doctors at the hospital a certificate of their injuries, they warned him they had orders to warn the officers to spot those who questioned the paper asked. The medical certificate is necessary to file a complaint: no interrogation would not certified and uncertified would not complaint. Busofa resigned and went home.
The number of wounded that night Saharan exceeds twenty, according to a provisional statement made by human rights organizations. Most are women and adolescents who have experienced trauma, fractures and dislocations. But, in view of the instructions of the doctors, not surprising that none of them have decided to sue the police. She was so frightened that some do not even have dared to go to hospital, have preferred to settle for the more discreet care of the healers.
However, several have indeed agreed to tell their situation to some NGOs. Hence, the authorities attempt to silence them. Yesterday, police stormed the house of Hamad Hamad activist when some journalists were interviewing him. The officials said that to talk to the press, human rights defenders needed special permission from the Government of Rabat, and ordered reporters to leave the home immediately.
Activists fear that when the media arrived in Laayoune to the return of Aminatou Haidar leave the city, and most already done so, the recrudescence police repression against them. Djimi El Ghalia, president of an NGO, tried to appeal across the country "to support that Spanish society has shown to Aminatou Haidar is still alive for all human rights defenders."
The health of Haidar, whom the agents remain confined to her home district of Zemla, worsened slightly in recent hours: it has a slight fever and low blood pressure. However, he agreed to make a brief statement by phone. "Mine" he said, "is a situation of imprisonment. The Moroccans want to tell the world I'm alone, I'm alone, that the Sahara is not with me. But it will get. The Sahrawi people are with me. They all feel like I, but did not show because they are afraid. "
Morocco has taken the passport to 13 other activists in two months
Aminatou Haidar is not the only Sahrawi activist to which the Moroccan Government has removed its documentation in recent months. At least 13 human rights defenders are happening right now in the same trance, but, unlike Haidar, remain in the occupied territories but without possibility of traveling to have passport withheld. Six of them were removed all documentation after Haidar began his protest and the remaining seven in the previous weeks. They include Sultana Khaya, a well known activist who lost an eye from the blows received during a demonstration, the veteran former political prisoner Daddach Sidi Mohamed, who was over 20 years in Moroccan prisons, Larbi Messaoud activist, member of CODESA , who chairs the association Aminatou Haidar and Hamadi Nasser Ahmed Sbai, Penthouse and Abderraman Barray Bougarfa, among others.
In most of these cases, documentation was confiscated while trying to leave the Sahara. For example, Bougarfa, 53, was traveling to Spain to participate in an international meeting on the former Spanish colony when it was intercepted by police in Casablanca airport on 20 November and was removed as the passport as a ticket . Sometimes the documentation will be returned after impede travel.
Haidar the strike has caused increased pressure on activists in the Sahara, according to the Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Humanos.El December 1 arrest took place Sukeina Idrissi, president of the Forum for the Future of Women in Sahara, while traveling from Laayoune to Bojador and is for Djimi Ghalia, whose house has been surrounded by police in recent days. The Polisario Front said that currently there are 56 prisoners of conscience in Moroccan prisons.
Aminatou Haidar calls for immediate protection for their children before the permanent aggression of the Moroccan police
Aminetu Haidar con sus hijos, Mohamed y Hayad
Moroccan police harass the family of Aminetu in Laayoune
In today Aminatou Haidar has made an urgent appeal to the international community in order that his family in Laayoune and especially their children, Hayad 15 years and Mohamed 13, receive urgent protection against aggression receiving permanent by the Moroccan police.
Three Spanish journalists have been prohibited from having contact with the family of Haidar, arguing that children are not allowed to speak to foreigners and less, if they are journalists. His house is permanently guarded by police forces creates an atmosphere of real tension and psychological torture on the family of Aminatou Haidar, especially with serious consequences for their children who are minor children.
At the door of both houses, as reported by the same sources, there was a conspicuous police presence, with agents and vans for hours prevented several journalists from entering the homes. Finally, a television crew managed to interview a sister of activist.
30 de noviembre de 2009 |
Mohamed VI gags Sahara under police control
The Moroccan royal palace has given its approval for the restructuring of the Auxiliary Forces, naming Hamidu Laanigri general in command of the south, which includes the Western Sahara and some southern provinces of Morocco. This decision is a continuation of King's speech on the Anniversary of the Green March in which, among other things, ended any possibility that they may become the Sahara territory that advocate for political solution to the crisis other than that imposed by the iron hand of Sultan Mohammed VI. That is, the absorption of the Spanish former colony by the Sultanate of Morocco and the Alawite full sovereignty over the territory.
The newly appointed head of the Auxiliary Forces in the Sahara, General Hamidu Laanigri, is considered one of the most bloodthirsty general and criminal military nomenclature. He led with an iron fist of repression against religious extremism after the attacks in Casablanca on 16 May 2003 that left over 40 dead three of them Spanish, arresting, torturing and jailing thousands of suspected members of the groups Salafi jihadists responsible for the slaughter.
Hamidu Laanigri was categorical: "In the Sahara we will not move. The only way to drive us is by military force. Algeria and the Polisario failed in that effort. The only ones who could do this are the USA". This general, who has been appointed by the bloodthirsty King Mohamed VI Sahara police checks, apply to the letter directive Sultan satrap: "No average or a patriot or a traitor." Hamidu Laanigri is responsible for arresting the "traitors".
24 de noviembre de 2009 |
-Delegation Aragon intercepted by Moroccan police in Laayoune -The observer mission in Laayoune Aragonese escorted by police to the hotel.
A delegation of Aragon, involving Jose Luis Soro, Deputy Secretary General for Political Action CHA, Álvaro Sanz, spokesperson of the Presidency of Izquierda Unida de Aragón and Zaragoza province coordinator and two other people non-governmental associations have been intercepted this afternoon by Moroccan police in Laayoune where they would meet with Sahrawi activists.
In a telephone conversation, Soro and Sanz have expressed their respective parties that, despite the record that have been submitted and intimidation suffered by the political police of the Sultan, is unwell.
The observer mission in Laayoune Aragon, who has been escorted by police to the hotel and not aware of what happened with the three Sahrawi activists with whom they were to meet, Esbai Ahmed Sidi Mohamed Dadach and H'mad Hmmad.
Recall that H'mad Hmmad is a very prominent activist and appeared in the Cortes of Aragon in October 2007 to denounce the violation of human rights by the satrap Mohamed VI in the territories illegally occupied Western Sahara.
The overriding concern is the Aragonese delegation so that they can run those assets, since in his opinion is likely to be arrested and tortured by the murderous Sultan police, as happened recently with seven other Sahrawi activists.
IAJUWS INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JURISTS FOR WESTERN SAHARA
ASOCIACIÓN INTERNACIONAL DE JURISTAS POR EL SÁHARA OCCIDENTAL
24 de noviembre de 2009 | ADN
A delegation Aragon intercepted by Moroccan police
A delegation of Aragon, involving a representative of Aragonese Council (CHA) and one of Izquierda Unida (IU) has been illegally intercepted this afternoon by Moroccan police in Laayoune where they would meet with Sahrawi activists.
In addition to José Luis Soro, Deputy Secretary General for Political Action of CHA, and Álvaro Sanz, spokesperson of the Presidency of Izquierda Unida de Aragón and Zaragoza province coordinator, the delegation Aragonese the two others are non-governmental associations, have reported from Chunta and Izquierda Unida.
17 de noviembre de 2009 | Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights
Our 2008 RFK Human Rights Laureate, Aminatou Haidar, began a hunger strike on November 16th after being forcibly removed from her homeland of Western Sahara. And we need your help to support an investigation of her removal.
Last Friday, Aminatou was returning to Western Sahara from a visit to the United States and Spain. While in the U.S., she briefed Congressional staff on the human rights situation in Western Sahara, met with United Nations member states, and received the Civil Courage Prize from the Train Foundation for her bold defense of the rights and liberties of the Saharawi people.
Upon her arrival at the Laayoune airport in Western Sahara, Aminatou declared her homeland as Western Sahara -- not Morocco -- on her immigration entry form. Although this has been her practice in the past, this time Moroccan authorities held Aminatou at the airport. They interrogated her overnight and confiscated her passport. Moroccan officials claim that Aminatou signed a form renouncing her citizenship. Then they put her on a plane to the Canary Islands against her wishes.
Spanish authorities will not allow Aminatou to leave the Canary Islands without a passport or travel documents. She has begun a hunger strike to protest her removal. The situation is all the more urgent as Aminatou suffers from serious health problems.
The RFK Center has begun to reach out to international leaders on Aminatou's behalf. We need your help to speak with a louder voice.
Join us today and call on United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay to immediately conduct an investigation into the circumstances of Aminatou's forced removal from Western Sahara. RFK Center and Aminatou have repeatedly called for a U.N. human rights monitoring mechanism to ensure the Saharawi people's rights are protected. Aminatou's current situation further highlights this urgent need.