Nazha El Khalidi
She was detained on 21 August 2016 on Fem Lwad beach in the West of the Western Saharan capital by members of the Royal Moroccan police force and taken to a detention centre at its headquarters. She was at a protest, with her small camera trying to cover the events and the abuses committed by the Moroccan security forces against the Saharawi population, who demand respect for their legitimate right to self-determination.
‘They came to arrest the protestors who were there, but later they detained everyone including the journalist Nezha. They pushed them into a van, hitting them too. We realised the whole area was surrounded by security agents, as if they had come to arrest a group of terrorists’ recounts a witness. Continue reading
Mohamed Fadel uld Jatri uld Ahnan (27) was murdered on 10th August by a Moroccan settler, in the city of Dakhla in occupied Western Sahara. The Moroccan sprayed chemical acid in Mohamed’s face and then stabbed him with a knife. Mohamed died later that day in Dakhla hospital. The Saharawi population immediately held a protest outside the hospital which was violently put down by the Moroccan forces.
Brahim Saika, the young Saharawi trade unionist and leader of the Coordination of unemployed Saharawis, who was arbitrarily detained by the Moroccan forces on 1st April and died in detention on 15th April as reported by Adala UK, was buried on 4th August at 7.30pm. His family were only informed 15 minutes before the burial was due to be held and had not given their consent.
To date, the Moroccan forces had refused to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of Brahim Saika’s death and they had offered his family 700,000 Moroccan dirham (US$ 70,000) to sign the agreement to have him buried without an autopsy, according to reports from his family to Adala UK
A video of Khadija’s interview can be found here: video Continue reading
22 July: Moroccan security services violently broke up demonstrations by human rights defenders, political activists, unemployed graduates and students, arbitrarily detaining some of the protestors. The protestors were demonstrating against the exclusion of Saharawi workers from a Moroccan government initiative to offer 500 jobs in the OCP company. Continue reading
Soldiers, police officers, demonstrations and attacks are recurrent themes in Saharawi children’s drawings. A child’s drawing, as a spontaneous expression, represents a child’s thought processes and its perceptions of the world around it.
Fear and sadness which children transmit through their creativity are a reflection on the systematic exposure to violence which the Saharawis are subjected to, particularly during childhood. The conflict has now persisted for over 40 years, meaning that several generations of children have never known peace. Continue reading
The Moroccan authorities violently intervened in peaceful demonstrations, organised by young unemployed Saharawis on 11th and 16th June 2016 in El Aaiun and Smara. The demonstrators demanded access to their right to work and to freedom of expression.
According to witnesses, the Moroccan police threw stones at demonstrators as well as using sticks and truncheons to attack demonstrators in both cities, resulting in dozens of demonstrators as well as some bystanders being injured, some of them seriously. One of them was a correspondent for the local TV channel RASD-TV.
The family of the late Saharawi President erected a tent to honour his death. This tent has been pulled down by the Moroccan authorities and those present paying their respects to their President have been violently attacked by the Moroccan authorities. Members of Adala UK in the Occupied Territories, explained that the tent was put up outside the house of Erguibi, one of Abdelaziz’s brothers, as an act of solidarity. Erguibi is a well-known lawyer and former prisoner of conscience who spent 16 years in the appalling conditions of the Secret Prision in Meguna where dozens of Saharawis are detained and tortured throughout their detention. Continue reading