According to information provided by her family, the Moroccan Occupation Authorities are not going to investigate the death of Minatu, a young woman who was murdered in Occupied Dakhla during the night of Saturday 14th October 2017. Her family and other witnesses have explained that Aminatou Mohamed Chej went missing that evening having left home to buy a few things in a shop local to their house. When she didn’t return, her family began looking for her, first of all at the houses of other relatives. The family reported her disappearance to the Occupation Authorities having found no trace of her.As the morning of Sunday 15th October arrived, the family received the most tragic of news. Aminatou’s body was found on the beach on the outskirts of the city. She was naked and her head and face had been badly beaten. Her clothes had been hidden under rocks by the cliffs. The area where her body was found is known as Ergueiba, in the south of the occupied city.
“Her body showed signs of being brutally beaten. She was covered in bruises and serious wounds. It was obvious that those who kidnapped her had done this and caused her death. She was likely raped as well”, one witness told Adala UK.
The Moroccan Occupation Authorities, headed up by the King’s Attorney General in the Occupied city of Dakhla, informed the family that the body of the murdered young woman was taken to the hospital in the Moroccan city of Agadir where they would conduct an autopsy. However, the Moroccan police insist that suicide is not a crime and they are treating this as the suicide if a person suffering mental ill health.
The victim’s mother, has totally denied this version of events as given by the Occupation Authorities and assures us that her daughter was in perfect health. She didn’t have any mental health problems.
“I’m the mother of a murdered daughter. I can testify that it is disgraceful what the Moroccan authorities are saying about my daughter. How can they say she had mental health problems? It’s a total disgrace that they say officially that they have spoken to me and that I told them my daughter had mental health problems. That is a lie. I won’t stop until I know the truth about who murdered my daughter, which is my right. I won’t stop til I know the truth about what happened to my daughter, for she is part of me.”
According to witness testimonies, the Saharawi population are angry about the murders which are taking place at the hands of the Moroccan settlers in the Occupied Territories. They have asked that justice be brought as soon as possible. (See video)
Whilst awaiting the results of the autopsy on the Sunday morning, the young woman’s body was buried on the outskirts of Dakhla, without the consent of her family. The Saharawi population have reported the mishandling of those case to the Occupation Authorities. (See video).
“The Moroccan authorities have buried my daughter’s body without informing us and without our consent. They didn’t even allow one family member to go and say their last goodbye. They didn’t tell me that they took her to Agadir and they haven’t told me the results of the autopsy” commented Aminatou’s mother (See video for her full testimony).
It is speculated that the crime was motivated by racism and is related to the frequent attacks of Moroccan settlers against Saharawi citizens. The murder has caused much concern in the city and people want justice.
“The attacks by settlers are increasing and causing harm to more and more Saharawis. But not one Moroccan citizen has died at the hands of a Saharawi because we don’t launch such attacks, even though these people are occupying our country. These increasing settler attacks are never investigated by Moroccan police…they just hand impunity to the attackers”, one activist told us.
The suspicious murder of Minatu Ahl Shikh reminds us of various other cases including that of Adnan Rahali four and a had months ago. Following his disappearance, the Moroccan authorities contacted his family to say that his body had been found in a university residence in Agadir in the Kingdom of Morocco. His case has never been investigated by the Moroccan authorities and his family were forced to bury him in silence (read more).
On 16 August 2016, 27-year old Mohamed Fadel Uld Jatri Uld Ahnan was murdered by a Moroccan settler in Dakhla in occupied Western Sahara. The settler threw acid in Mohamed’s face and then stabbed him with a knife. Mohamed died later in the city’s hospital. The Saharawi population began a protest outside the hospital immediately but this was violently suppressed by the Moroccan occupation forces.
On 22 February 2015, the body of Mohamed Lamine Haidala, a young Saharawi, was buried by the Moroccan Occupation Authorities without notifying his family. Despite complaints from his family, his death was never investigated and an autopsy was never done to establish the cause of his death, the results of which should have been made public. The family told members of Adala UK that on Saturday 31st January 2015 at approximately 9.30pm Moroccan settlers who own a shop opposite the house of Mohamed Lamin Haidala’s grandparents began shouting insults and racist abuse about his being Saharawi. The shop owner, his two nephews and two employees, all of whom are settlers, attacked Mohamid Lamin and one threw a stone which hit him in the chest and made him fall to the floor. The group raced towards him and began hitting and kicking him all over his body. One took out some scissors and drove them into his neck, his shoulder, the nape of his neck and near his ear. Mohamed Lamin lost consciousness. Days later, he died. (Read more).
Said Dambar, a 26 year old Saharawi died after being hit by a police bullet. His family have waited two years for an investigation and his body has been buried without their consent. (Read more).
These acts if murder are deliberate and continuous and attacks against Saharawis by Moroccan settlers are on the rise. This is the result of 42 years of illegal occupation by Morocco. Activists and members of Saharawi NGOs have spent years highlighting the cases of racially motivated attacks by settlers. Yet still the Occupation Authorities have done nothing to prevent this hostility from increasing. Without measures in place to bring perpetrators to justice, a culture of impunity thrives which leads to further attacks.
Adala UK reiterates its call to the Moroccan Authorities to take urgent and concrete steps to prevent settler attacks on the Saharawi population and launch independent investigations whenever such an attack takes place to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.