Adala UK; Morocco / Western Sahara: the use of torture to incriminate citizens with differing views 

During his visit to Morocco and Western Sahara in September 2012, Juan Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, signalled that public prosecutors and judges rarely investigate complaints which allege the use of torture to obtain evidence or confessions during the early stages of interrogations. Continue reading

Morocco continues the arbitrary expulsion of international observers from Western Sahara

Throughout 2016, Adala UK recorded 85 cases of arbitrary expulsion of international observers (including human rights defenders and journalists) from Western Sahara by Morocco. They were accused of ‘disturbing public order’ for their attempts to observe the situation regarding human rights. Continue reading

Boy detained by Moroccan police for drawing Western Sahara flags

The arrest and maltreatment of Saharawis by the Moroccan police goes against the commitment to respecting the rights of the child and related covenants. Anass Oamri, an eleven year old boy, was detained on 18 January, taken from his family in El Aaiún, the capital of Western Sahara and spent a night at the police station, and was going to be taken to Morocco to the orphanage in Salé over 1000km from his home.

The Moroccan authorities accused him of drawing and making Western Sahara flags. Anass Omari is a Moroccan orphan who was adopted by the Saharawi family with whom he lives in El Aaiún. Anass sent a text from the place where he was being detained to ask his friends, other Saharawi children, not to forget about him and to remember that he is Saharawi like them. Continue reading

Morocco: Horrendous prison conditions and abuse put Sahrawi prisoners’ lives at risk 

Sahrawi prisoners in Moroccan prisons continue to face a daily struggle for survival, living in overcrowded cells without ventilation where temperatures can rise to 44 ºC during the summer months. Prisoners are regularly abused, both mentally and physically, by prison guards, in some cases leading to death. Such incidences are never investigated which creates a climate of complete impunity. Continue reading

Morocco is increasing detentions and maltreatment of children in Western Sahara

On 20th November 2016, the Moroccan police arrested 3 minors in El Aiun, bringing the number of detained minors to 24 in the last 3 months of 2016.
The 3 youngsters Jamal Salami, Hajoub El Mojahid and El Bashir Babait were interrogated in police custody and subjected to maltreatment before being presented to the royal prosecutor who set them free until they had to present themselves at another tribunal on 20th December. During this the period was extended to 25 January.

On 28th November 2016, another minor – Ibrahim Mayara – was called to appear in front of a tribunal at the end of January 2017. Ibrahim had been arbitrarily detained on 26th November near his family home in El Aiun by a Moroccan police patrol. ‘The boy was violently attacked, immobilised and quickly taken away in a Moroccan police car’, an eye witness told Adala UK. Continue reading

Decision to postpone trial of Saharawi activists represents a new stain on the Moroccan judiciary

img_0825-5On July 27, Morocco’s High Court nullified the unfair sentences previously issued by the military court to 24 Saharawi activists. They face false charges for which they will potentially face very long sentences.

On Monday 26 December, a court in Salé (Morocco) postponed the trial of all 24 – known as the ‘Gdeim Izik Group’ – until 23 January 2017. The reason given for the deferment was that two of the accused – Mohamed Ayoubi, who is now on conditional release, and Hasana Alía, who was granted asylum in Spain – did not attend the trial. Continue reading

Morocco must allow international observers to enter Western Sahara

Two lawyers, José Revert Calabuig and Nieves Cubas Armas, representatives of the General Council of the Spanish Legal Profession who had planned to visit, as international observers, the trial on 21 December of Saharawi activist Ali Saadouni and his fellow activists in El Aaiún. They were expelled from the capital of Occupied Western Sahara at midday on 20 December, sent by plane back to Gran Canaria.
Continue reading