Monday, 7 December 2009

NEWS: Nobel Peace Price nominee Haidar on hungerstrike

Frequently referred to as the Saharawi Gandhi, Haidar has now commenced the third week (Update 7/12/9: day 21) of her hunger strike at the Lanzarote airport. 

On Friday, December 5, Spanish authorities informed Haidar that she could return to Morocco and travel without her passport. Moroccan authorities, however, refused to allow the plane meant to take her home to leave on grounds of "technical difficulties". Read THIS to learn about what happened from a Spanish supporter.

For your information
Haidar was expelled from her homeland of Western Sahara after returning there from the US where she received the latest in a series ofawards from the Train Foundation, for her tireless and peaceful human rights advocacy work. Mother-of-two Haidar is in a critical condition and is unable to stand or speak. The Moroccan authorities expelled her on the grounds that she insisted on affirming her Saharawi identity and did not state she was a Moroccan national living int he Moroccan Sahara on her landing card. 

The prime minister of East Timor, Jose Ramos Hortas, Jose Saramago, the Nobel Prize winner for literature, the Oscar winning actor Javier Bardem have all expressed their solidarity and outrage.

Update (7/12/9):
Observer: Morocco-Spain hunger strike deal (Dec 6) Amnesty launch URGENT ACTION in support of Aminatou Haidar (Dec 6) Wave of abuse against Saharawi human rights activists (Dec 5)

Barcelona Reporter: "Hunger-striking Nobel Prize nominee Aminatou Haidar in 'critical condition" (Dec 7) 
Alternet: "The Other Occupation: Western Sahara and the CAse of Aminatou Haidar" (Dec 5)

UPDATE (3/12/9):
BBC: Concert backs "Gandhi of Sahara' "British Parliament tables motion in support of Aminatou Haidar" (Dec 1)
Indybay: "Ailing Western Saharan Human Rights Activist Aminatou Haidar Demands Moroccan..."
CPJ: "Morocco silences the pens of its journalists"
The Independent: "Marooned at Lanzarote airport, the 'Gandhi of the Western Sahara'"

Amnesty: Morocco/Western Sahara: Expulsion of Human Rights Defender reflects growing intolerance 
Morning Star: MPs' dismay at removal of "African Gandhi" (Dec 1)

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