Adala UK welcomes an awareness campaign, initiated by Portuguese journalists, focusing on the Saharawi journalist and political prisoner Mahmoud El Haisan, who is currently serving an 18 month prison sentence in El Aiun’s Black Prison. The campaign calls on journalists worldwide to demonstrate their solidarity with Mahmoud by signing the below letter addressed to Ban Ki-Moon, General Secretary of the United Nations.
H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, General Secretary of the United Nations,
We, the undersigned, appeal for your intervention in the case of the Saharawi journalist Mr. Mahmoud El Haisan, currently detained in the Black Prison of Laayoune in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
Mr. Mahmoud El Haisan, correspondent for RASD TV, a local TV station in Western Sahara, was abducted on 4th July 2014 at 03.30 by four Toyota Prado with over 20 uniformed and plainclothed agents of the Moroccan authorities in uniforms, in front of his house on Menzuar Street, Laayoune. This is contrary to all international conventions to which the Kingdom of Morocco subscribes and a clear violation of the Human Rights’ Charter. He was taken to the Police Station in Laayoune, brutally beaten and tortured by the agents on duty and taken to the Black Prison.
He was accused in the first instance of being part of an armed mob and of attacks against Moroccan authorities during the celebration of the results of the Algerian football team on 26th and 30th June.
Mr. El Haisan was on both occasions filming the celebrations and the actions of the Moroccan authorities who attacked the Saharawis who celebrated the result of the Algerian football team by exhibiting the Algerian and Saharawi flags and wearing the Algerian football team t-shirt.
Mr. Mahmoud El Haisan was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He has serious health issues that are aggravated daily due to the torture he has suffered several times during his incarceration and the sub-human conditions in Laayoune’s Black Prison.
The arbitrary detention and threats that Mahmoud El Haisan suffered are a clear example of the Moroccan state’s repressive regime against Saharawi journalists working in the Occupied Territories.
We appeal to you to put pressure on the Kingdom of Morocco to free Mr. Mahmoud El Haisan.
Carmen Marques – Journalist, Portugal
Artur Lourenço – Photographer, Portugal
Bruno Raposo – Photographer, Portugal
Myriam Zaluar – Journalist, Portugal
José Carlos Soares – Journalist, Portugal
José Mussuaili – Journalist, Portugal
Wilson Silva – Journalist, Portugal
Margarida Silva – Journalist, Portugal
Jomah Alqasem, Journalist, Syria
Gabriel Corbacho Bermejo – Journalist-lawyer, Spain
María de los Ángeles Cuenda Gago – Journalist- political scientist, Spain
Leticia Dorta Lemus – Journalist, Spain
José Luis Jiménez Navarrete – Journalist, Spain
José María López Guerra – Journalist, Spain
Manuel Minero González – Journalist, Spain
José Oropesa Rodríguez – Journalist, Spain
Sergio Rodrigo Ruíz – Journalist, Spain
Maria do Carmo Piçarra – Journalist, Portugal
Paulo Caetano – Journalist, Portugal
Rached Redwan, Filmmaker, Spain
André Manuel Gomes Mendes – Journalist, Portugal