Human rights activist from British organisation ADALA UK severely injured

Human Rights activist and Founding Member of British association Adala UK, Mr. Sidahmed , was beaten and insulted by the Moroccan police on Saturday June 22 when he was taken part in a peaceful demonstration in Laayoune, occupied Western Sahara. As a result, Sidahmed has severe leg and back injuries, presenting bruises all over his body due to numerous kicks and punches. He had to be taken to a local hospital.

They insulted me, spit on me, pushed me around… I was constantly beaten for a long time… that’s how I was treated by the Moroccan authorities together with many other Saharawis for the simple reason of participating in peaceful demonstrations in Smara street in Laayoune (Western Sahara) las Saturday. They left me with severe injuries all over my body, above all in my legs, leaving me without being able to walk. Mi friend Saleh, a Saharawi born in the refugee camps but now holding Spanish nationality, was with me. We wanted to see his homeland and we were travelling throughout the country.

These types of attacks happen regularly in the context of a repressive campaign by the Moroccan authorities, which constantly abuse the Saharawis’ fundamental rights. Above all, they block their right to protest peacefully, imposing an occupation on the Saharawi citizens and human rights defenders. Sidahmed explains the situation:

They insulted me, spit on me, pushed me around… I was constantly beaten for a long time… that’s how I was treated by the Moroccan authorities together with many other Saharawis for the simple reason of participating in peaceful demonstrations in Smara street in Laayoune (Western Sahara) las Saturday. They left me with severe injuries all over my body, above all in my legs, leaving me without being able to walk. Mi friend Saleh, a Saharawi born in the refugee camps but now holding Spanish nationality, was with me. We wanted to see his homeland and we were travelling throughout the country.

These types of attacks happen regularly in the context of a repressive campaign by the Moroccan authorities, which constantly abuse the Saharawis’ fundamental rights. Above all, they block their right to protest peacefully, imposing an occupation on the Saharawi citizens and human rights defenders. Sidahmed explains the situation:

We entered the demonstration and he was constantly asking me: “why is there so many people with plain clothes, but who clearly look like they are not here to demonstrate?” This was his last day, tomorrow he’ll go off to Mauritania. His last comment to me was: “I had never imagined to see this with my own eyes, I have only seen in a thousand times on TV.” I arrived to the hospital around 8pm, which was completely blocked by the Moroccan police. The doctors were asking me: “Why are you hurt? Were you with the troublemakers?” I answered that I had been at the peaceful demonstration. They left us waiting forever, while other people who arrived later received medical treatment. After an hour, The doctor came back and looked at us repeating: “You’re fine, you’re all perfectly fine.” We were not, there were numerous people injured as a result of demonstrating peacefully…

We call all international human rights and political organizations to take notice of this dramatic situation and give their support and assistance to the human rights activists in the occupied zone of the Western Sahara. There is an urgent need to urgently extend the UN mandate in the Western Sahara to monitor and inform about human rights.

written by Violeta: sandblast

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