Human Rights activists and political prisoners in six Moroccan prisons went on a 48 hour long hunger strike on January 31. They do this to protest against the inhumane treatment they are submitted to by the Moroccan penitentiary administration and police. A press release from the activists states that the inmates are subjected to torture and threat of assassination. (06-FEB-06)
This article is based on a press releasefrom West Saharan human rights activists. It has been edited by HRH / Therese Jebsen. Photo of demonstration: Berserk Productions.
The press release contains information about the following cases: Mr. Amidan El Ouali and Mr. M. Sidi Ahmed were tortured inside a police van while they were transported on January 24 from a court in Aaiun to the so-called “Carcel Negra”, the Black Prison. Three other Saharawi political prisoners in Morocco and Western Sahara state that they have been tortured and ill-treated. Through the press release, the activists call for help from the international community to defend their rights as human beings and political prisoners.
14 Saharawis convicted
Meanwhile, the World Organisation against torture (OMCT) has released a statement in Spanish and French stating that 14 Saharawis received sentences in a court on December 14, from seven months to two years in prison. Mr. Brahim Noumria was sentenced to ten months in prison. He visited Bergen in 2002 when Mrs. Sidi Daddach was awarded the Professor Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize. Mr. Ali Salem Tamek was sentenced to 8 months in prison. He then appealed, and this resulted in an increase in the sentence; it was lifted to ten months on January 24.
Diplomats denied access
Morocco blocked access to El Aaiun, in Western Sahara, to a delegation of diplomats from the embassies of Norway, Sweden and Finland in Rabat last Tuesday (January) according to the president of the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, Ronny Hansen. The delegation had finalized all their preparations and had a green light from Rabat but on Monday evening they called the embassies to prohibit the visit, he said. The diplomats were planning to meet a group of Sahrawi Human Rights activists, the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso) and various Moroccan authorities.
International delegation expelled in July 2995
The situation for the Saharawi people in occupied Western Sahara is still alarming, and the Kingdom of Morocco commits atrocities in the absence of international media and observers, says Arne L. Lynngard, Chairman of the Rafto Foundation. In July 2005 Mr. Lynngard participated in a Norwegian delegation of five people travelling to Western Sahara to monitor the trial against 16 human rights activist. The delegation was expelled July 5, the same day they arrived El Aaioun. This was the fifth time during the summer of 2005 that an international delegation was expelled from Western Sahara.