Four Moroccan police officers detained 16 year old Ayub Garmat (DOB: 16.01.1998) and took him by car (a Toyota Prado) from the city centre to the edge of the Wad Sagia lake, approximately 4km from El Aiún. They brutally beat him, dragging him across the ground. Ayub described to members of AdalaUK what happened: “As they were hitting me with metal truncheons, one of the officers opened my mouth and filled it with dirt as I was coughing and spluttering. ‘We’re going to rape you right here’ they said to me. While they were beating me, they asked me questions like ‘are you a member of the Polisario or Moroccan?’, ‘Who were you with at the demonstration?’ and ‘Sing the Moroccan national anthem!’
“While two officers were kicking and beating me, two others twisted my arms behind my back. I was screaming in pain and pleading with them to stop, but they didn’t stop and instead threw me to the ground. Then one of the Moroccan police officers punched me really hard on my temple which made me fall to the ground onto all the stones.”
Members of AdalaUK can confirm that Ayub is in a very serious condition which will prevent him from being able to finish his end of academic year exams. The incident happened in the occupied city of El Aiún, Western Sahara, following a peaceable demonstration which was calling for the rights of the Saharawi people – most notably the right to self-determination.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, is the most ratified of all UN Conventions. This Convention encompasses civil rights and freedoms, including those of family life, health, basic wellbeing, education and activities of leisure time as well as special protection measures for minors.
It is with this Convention in mind that AdalaUK condemns this behaviour on the part of the Moroccan police. We have concerns regarding the increase in the use of police beatings, large-scale detentions and the threats to and harassment of minors.