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
Today, the Moroccan police have prevented a delegation of the regional Galician Parliament from entering the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara. The delegation consisted of five MPs: GONZALO TENOR, MONTSE PRADO, XABIER RON, CONSUELO MARTÍNEZ and NOELA, from the Popular Party (PP), the Galician Nationalist Block (BNG), the Socialist Party (PSOE), the Alternative Galician Left and the Mixt Group. They were accompanied by four members of a Galician solidarity group: MAITE ISLA AVION; XOSE ENRIQUE PORTO VARELA, and Spanish journalist IRENE TOME URRESTI. The Moroccan authorities did not authorise them to disembark the plane in EL Aaiun and sent them back to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
The death of a renowned Saharawi student leader shows a lack of will on the part of the Moroccan government to protect those who defend the rights of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities.
Four months and 15 days after the disappearance of Adnan Rahali, Moroccan authorities contacted his family on 2 May to notify them that their son’s body had been found in the student residence of the university of Agadir, Morocco, where thousands of students live.
Following the death of Ibrahim Saika, a Saharawi prisoner of conscience, on 15 April 2016, his lawyer, has called for a thorough investigation into the cause of his death.
An initial hearing began on 18 April. All roads leading to the court where the hearing was to take place were cordoned off by the police to prevent Saharawi citizens from attending at this point in the process. Nevertheless, some of Brahim’s family together with some of his colleagues from the Movement of Unemployed Saharawi Graduates and other activists managed to attend the hearing, chanting slogans condemning those responsible for Brahim’s death. Continue reading