Morocco continues to expel pro-Saharawi activists and international observers from Western Sahara

Dozens of activists, journalists and international observers have attempted to enter the occupied city of El Aaiún via the international airport in response to calls from the Saharawi NGO community to lift the block imposed by Morocco on the area and in order to participate in non-violent resistance activities against the Moroccan occupation.


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Nazha El-Khalidi, a Saharawi journalist, describes her experience in custody of the Moroccan police


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

Recent murder of Mohamed Fadel is an example of widespread violence by Moroccan settlers against Saharawi population 

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.
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Brahim Saika buried without his family’s consent and without clarifying the cause of his death

img_4406-2Brahim 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

Western Sahara: Moroccan forces attack protests with total impunity

image1-122 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

Childhood in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara

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

Western Sahara: Peaceful demonstrations marred by violent police intervention

image2The 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.  

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