Thursday, 15 October 2009

Statement: Sandblast condemns arrest of 7 saharawi human rights activists

London, Oct. 13, 2009 – The apprehension of seven Saharawi human rights advocates in Casablanca last Thursday, October 8, 2009, is the latest systematic violation of human rights by Moroccans against Saharawis after the detention of six Saharawi students in August this year.

Moroccan police arrested a group of human rights defenders from Western Sahara on October 8th 2009 at the Casablanca Airport at the point of their return from the Saharawi refugee camps in SW Algeria. While Moroccan police officers have confirmed the arrest, no further details on the group’s whereabouts and their situation were released.

The group’s visit to the camps had previously been condemned in the Moroccan press and they accused the advocates of treason. The widely published articles and press releases stated that their visit “hurt the feelings of the whole Moroccan people” and demanded an “exemplary punishment” for all members of this group.

Mohamed Abdelaziz, the President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) expressed his concern to the President of the Security Council, Mr Le Loung Minh for the safety of the Saharawi detainees.

Sandblast condemns the abduction and fears for the safety of
  • Ali Salem Tamek, first Vice-President of the Saharawi Collective of Human Rights Defenders (CODESA);
  • Brahim Dahane, President of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights (ASVDH);
  • Ahmad Anasiri, General Secretary of the Saharawi Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Smara;
  • Yahdih Ettarrouzi, member of AMDH Laayounne Chapter;
  • Saleh Lebayhi, President of the Forum for the Protection of Saharawi Children;
  • Dagja Lachgar member of the executive office of ASVDH, and
  • Rachid Sghayar, member of the Committee Action Against Torture

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