Since 23 March, a group of Saharawi students have been on hunger strike in the prison of Oudaya, Marrakech. The young Sahrawis are university students in Agadir and Marrakech. They were arrested and suffered ill treatment at the hands of the Moroccan police. Given the absence of a thorough investigation into their alleged crimes and a fair trial, as well as any respect for their status as prisoners of conscience, they began an open hunger strike. They are on hunger strike to request humane conditions in the prison. They also seek a new trial in line with international law and the new Moroccan consitution.
The health of the hunger strikers is worsening with each day that passes, especially for those who have been on hunger strike for over a month. Their condition has deteriorated and the prison administration were obliged to transfer some of them to the prison hospital. The symptoms they are presenting include: vomiting blood; kidney failure; loss of consciousness; hypertension; and hyperglycaemia. Members of Adala UK have spoken to the students’ families to understand their current situations.
The Moroccan authorities fabricated false accusations against these students, who have been falsely charged with murder. The students state their detention was due to their political beliefs regarding the Western Sahara cause, which they expressed through peaceful protests on the university campuses.
Those on hunger strike since 23 March:
Ahmed AbbaAli, detention No. 4327, Agadir
Mohammed Rgueibi, detention No. 4331, Agadir
Ali Shargui, detention No. 4335, Agadir
Mohammed Dada, detention No. 4482, Marrakech
Omar Beijna, detention No. 4661, Marrakech
Ibrahim Almasih detention No. 4329, Agadir
Those on hunger strikers since 25 March:
Hamza Rami, detention No. 4331 Agadir
Salek Baber, detention No. 4332 , Agadir
Aziz Aluahidi, detention No. 4400, Agadir
Wafi Olwakari, detention No. 4334, Marrakech
Nasser Omnkur, detention No. Marrakech
Mustafa Burkah, detention No. Agadir
Those on hunger strike since 30 March:
Omar Laadjni, detention No. 4325, Marrakech
Those not on hunger strike but imprisoned:
Murad Laawsi, detention No. 4482 (WHERE)
Aid Lamaula Alhafdy (WHERE AND DETENTION NUMBER)
El Kantaoui Albar, detention No. 4328, Marrakech (ceased hunger strike two days ago)
We write in more detail about one particular saharawi prisoner of conscience:
At around 11am on 20 April, Abdul Khaliq al Markhi, a Saharawi prisoner of conscience sentenced for four years in prison, was moved from Tiznit Prison in Morocco to the city’s Hassan II hospital following a deterioration in his health as a result of his hunger strike since 1 April. According to his family, he had spent several days in a wheelchair and, following some tests by a doctor at the prison, was taken to hospital. His family told us that he was taken to hospital having refused to cease his hunger strike or to accept food through an injection or a drip. He is in pain and is unable to move normally.
We call on the European Parliament , to question the government of Morocco regarding the cases of these students. We demand that the Moroccan government respect international law and the Covenants to which they subscribe and respect the basic human rights of the Saharawi prisoners of conscience who seek a fair trial and request that their status as prisoners of conscience be respected.
We call for the urgent release of the imprisoned students and an end to the harmful media campaign conducted by the Moroccan government against the meeting and organising of the Saharawi students. We urge you to support these students by calling the Moroccan government to account over their actions in these cases.