Saharawi political prisoners tortured and maltreated in Moroccan prisons

On 17th September 2014, seven Saharawi political prisoners (Abdslam Lomadi, Abdlakrim Boshalga,  Alyien Moussaoui, Mahmud lhaisan,  Abdel Motalib Srir, Mohamed Babir, Abd lfatah Dalal) were tortured for several hours and in front of all other prisoners and prison guards in the courtyard of El Aiun’s ‘Black Prison’. Subsequently, the prisoners were handcuffed and put into two separate cells whose floors were covered in water. Some of their personal items were also confiscated.

When their families heard that the prisoners had been tortured they expected them to be taken to hospital and demonstrated outside the hospital, along with their lawyers. However, the prisoners were never taken to hospital.

‘We only heard the news from prisoners’ family members that my brother and others Saharawis were brutally beaten in front of all of the prisoners’, one of the prisoners’ sister told Adala UK.

The seven prisoners have since gone on hunger strike in protest against the torture they suffer at the hands of Moroccan prison guards as well as other practices such as solitary confinement, not being allowed family visits or telephone calls to their families.

On 19th September, Alyien Moussaoui was transferred to hospital in a serious condition due to the maltreatment and torture he had suffered. The hospital is under police surveillance and his sister is not allowed to see him.

The political prisoners plan to continue their hunger strike until they obtain a formal apology from the prison authorities, medical care, and a guarantee that this type of maltreatment will not happen again in future. They have also asked that their personal belongings are returned to them.

Also on 17th September, Sidi Bouamoud and Khaiss Haiba, two Saharawi political prisoners in the South of Morocco, went on a 48 hour hunger strike to protest against maltreatment in prison and the lack of access to medical care.

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