During the night of 16th/17th February, a Moroccan military court passed sentences on 24 Saharawi political prisoners who were arrested in connection with the Gdeim Izik protest camp in 2010. 8 received life sentences, 14 were sentenced to between 20 and 30 years in prison and 2 were sentenced to two years and three months, the time they had already spent in prison.
Morocco tried the prisoners in a military court which did not meet international standards for a fair trial, despite calls to bring the prisoners before a civilian court which would meet international human rights standards. Furthermore, the prisoners’ claims of being subjected to torture during their imprisonment were not investigated further. According to international observers, the trial was heavily flawed from them outset.
This week, the UN Human Rights Council also expressed concern at the use of a military trial court to try the 25 Saharawi civilians and at the lack of investigation into reports that the prisoners had been tortured and ill-treated during the pre-trial period.
We call on the international community to put pressure on the Moroccan authorities to investigate the prisoners’ torture allegations and to give them the opportunity of a fair trial in a civilian court.
Here is a link to some further information on the amnesty international website:
Your Adala UK Team