The death of a Saharawi political prisoner due to medical negligence must bring change

Hassana El Wali

By Sidi Ahmed Abdala


Following the death of the Saharawi activist and political prisoner, Hasana El Wali, due to medical negligence whilst in prison, AdalaUK urges that the Moroccan occupation immediately and unconditionally frees all 74 political prisoners who have been registered as such by AdalaUK and their collaborators (including five who have recently been released on conditional freedom).

Hasana, before his death in the occupied city of Dakhla on Sunday, had spent several weeks in a critical condition following the beatings and torture he was subjected to by the Moroccan police, which had caused serious injury to his right hand.

“The Tragic death of Hasana El Wali is a terrible example of the desperate situation faced by Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons. They have no hope of being hospitalized to be treated by medical professionals.”

Hasana was detained in January 2012 for participating in a peaceable demonstration calling for the self-determination of the Saharawi people, in the city of Dakhla. He was sentenced to three years in prison by a Moroccan court.

“The fact that Hasana died as a consequence of a critical health condition shows that the prison administration sentenced him to a slow death through medical negligence. We other political prisoners feel that we are on the same path and will soon end up dead. They are taking their revenge on us for our political positions” commented the political prisoner, Kamal Trayah to members of AdalaUK. Hasana’s death is confirmation of the constant repression and terrible conditions that political prisoners face in Moroccan prisons, as recently reported by AdalaUK. The Moroccan occupation authorities must launch a thorough investigation.

Hasana’s death underlines the urgent need for United Nations to send international experts to visit the country to ensure that human rights are being respected, especially the obligations established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also to send medical staff to evaluate and register the health of the political prisoners.

Hasana was born in 1973 in Dakhla, in the south of Western Sahara. He was a member of the Committee Against Torture in Dakhla and a representative of the Association of Victims of Mines and a Saharawi political prisoner. He was detained on 5th January 2012 and was sentenced to three years in prison. In July 2014 he had an operation on his right hand, which had been completely destroyed through torture. Five days ago his condition worsened due to complications with his diabetes and an ulcer, which required his immediate transfer to hospital. He was denied this help and the transfer for several days, despite protests by his fellow inmates.

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