Adala writes to the President of Rabat University to demand equality for Saharawi students.
Below you can read the letter that was sent:
We are writing to you to express our grave concern regarding the security of Saharawi students who are studying at the University of Rabat.
Adala UK has received reports that on the early morning of Saturday, 12th May 2012, a number of Saharawi students studying at the University of Rabat were violently attacked by a group of Moroccan students in their residence. During this attack the following Saharawi students were injured; at least one had to be hospitalised: S. Alehaj, A. Khaya, S. Khaya, l.R. Mayyara, S.N. Mohamed and M. Mayyara.
In addition, during the attack, many Saharawi students’ rooms were broken into and their personal belongings, such as computers and other valuable items, stolen. Victims include Tanji Ibrahim y Bousola, S. Abaih, K. Khaya, H. Altrozzi, l. Wald Maisa, H. lansar, M. labsir, M. Fadel, M. Behe and his brother M. Fadhil. When these students tried to return to their rooms later, they observed Moroccan police personnel and auxiliary forces in the entrance to the residence, evidently protecting the Moroccan students who had carried out the attack and who appear to belong to the ‘Lakbaish’ and ‘Salama’ groups.
The motivation for the attack seems to have been a peaceful talk, which Saharawi students had previously organised at the University of Rabat in order to discuss the conflict in Western Sahara. A group of Moroccan students had disturbed the event, calling the organisers ‘separatists’ and seriously injuring one of the Saharawi participants with a knife, according to eye witnesses.
These criminal acts, carried out by Moroccan students, against fellow Saharawi students, represent strong evidence of a new method employed by the Moroccan police: Moroccan students are manipulated and used in order to threaten and attack their fellow Saharawi students.
Members of Adala UK visited Morocco earlier this year and met with Saharawi student representatives in Agadir who mentioned similar occurrences at other Moroccan universities where Saharawi students are systematically intimidated and discriminated against.
We urge you to act immediately to call for a full investigation of the recent incidents at the University of Rabat which will hold all perpetrators accountable.
We hope that as President of the University of Rabat you will regard it as your responsibility to ensure the well-being of ALL students and take appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and security of students of Saharawi origin so that they are able continue their studies.
on behalf of: ADALA UK, Human Rights for Western Sahara