Adala UK calls for a thorough and immediate investigation into the case of 22 year old Rgaibano Lahwajui who was brutally beaten by the Moroccan security forces on 15 December in El Aiun.
Adala UK has obtained images of his severely beaten body, in which his face barely recognisable. These photographs provide horrific evidence of the abuses which are committed by Moroccan forces in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara and for which there is complete impunity.
The young man was detained and beaten for participating in a demonstration against the Moroccan occupation and human rights violations. He was forced into a Moroccan police car, in which he was beaten again before being taken out of the city to be tortured and raped with a baton. Rgaibano suffered injuries to the head, neck, arms, legs and back.
Rgaibano described the attack to members of Adala UK: ‘They took me into the desert in a police car, they took off my clothes and then they started beating me until I could no longer move. Then they raped me with a stick.’
Rgaibano made an official complaint including a medical report confirming that he had been the victim of beatings.
The Moroccan authorities must react immediately to this attack. If they fail to do so, they send a clear signal of impunity for violent crimes against the Sahrawi population.
The international community also has a clear duty to react. We must show Morocco that the world’s eyes are now watching the untenable situation in Western Sahara far more closely.