Thursday, 10 December 2009

STATEMENT: Aminatou Haidar writes to Prime Minister Brown

Statement from Aminatou Haidar to Prime Minister Gordon Brown
10th December 2009

Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you from my bed in the terminal of Lanzarote airport on this the 25th day of my hunger strike in protest at my illegal expulsion from my home in Western Sahara on 14th November.  As I write, my spirit remains strong but I feel my physical strength is fading fast.
I would like to ask you and your government and the people of Great Britain for your urgent support. Support not just for me but for all the Saharawi people who, for the past 34 years have been forced to live either under an unlawful and brutal occupation in Western Sahara or in desolate refugee camps in the Algerian desert.
I call on the British government to do all in their power to bring pressure to bear on Morocco to accept a solution to this conflict that conforms with international law, namely:
  • to allow the United Nations to hold a referendum on self determination for Western Sahara;
  • to immediately desist from the arbitrary arrest, torture and ¨disappearing¨ of human rights defenders in occupied Western Sahara;
  • to free without delay the prisoners of conscience held in Moroccan jails, particularly the seven human rights activist who were arrested in Casablanca on 7th October and are awaiting a sentence in Sale / Rabat prison which could include the death penalty;
  • to allow me to travel home to my children in Laayoune, Western Sahara in accordance with Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Today, on International Human Rights Day, I hope the Britain together with the rest of the international community will not ignore our plight and will support our just struggle to bring an end to an unlawful occupation that has been allowed to continue for over three decades.

Aminatou Haidar

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