Appeal trial of the group of Saharawi students postponed

Estudiantes

The trial session of the appeal process of thr group of 15 Saharawi students detained in the Marrakesh prison, was adjourned.

The session, which began several hours late, served only to inform that the trial would be postponed to 16 January 2018.

This group of students was sentenced on June 22 last year, with 11 students punished to 3 and 4 students sentenced to 10 years in prison.

PUSL has been monitoring this process since the arrest of these young people in 2016.

For more information consult the published report and the articles.

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Two young Saharawi students from the Marrakesh group released after trial

 

Two of the Saharawi students detained in the Marrakesh prison who had been detained in June 2016 were released last October.

Mustafa Hmaidat, a student in Agadir was released on 6 October and Laghdaf Lakan, a student in Marrakech on 20 October.

Details of the case can be found in the report published by our collaborator Isabel Lourenço, member of the Western Sahara Foundation (see here).

We remind that the remaining Sahrawi students of this group were detained for almost 18 months before being sentenced on 6 July this year with 5, 10-year sentences (Abdelmaoula Elhafidi, Aziz Elwahidi, Elbbar Elkntawi, Mohamed Dada and Mohamed Saakouk) and the remaining students with 3 years in prison.

The two students now released were not convicted at that trial since they had been detained at a later date as their comrades.

This group is known as “Companions of El Ouali”, a young student murdered by the Moroccan authorities.

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GDEIM IZIK – Lawyers from 5 countries send letter to French Prime Minister

European lawyers from Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland sent today a letter to the French prime minister visiting Rabat calling for his intervention to protect the Sahrawi political prisoners known as the Gdeim Izik Group.

According to Ingrid Metton, French lawyer of the defense team of these political prisoners, the conditions of detention are alarming, with serious risks to the physical integrity of the 19 detainees not only because of the lack of medication and minimal medical attention, but also because the administration of Kenitra prison transferred a Moroccan prisoner of common crime with a history of extreme violence to the same ward as the saharawi detainees The political prisoners went on a 48-hour strike to alert public opinion to this threat and hold the prison director accountable for any injuries and attacks they may suffer.

This letter is a further appeal in a long list of international communications and denunciations from various quarters of civil society that warn of the seriousness of the situation and call on the international community to pressure Morocco to respect the basic principles of human rights.

Mrs. Metton reaffirmed that both she and her colleague and co-advocate for the group, Dr. Olfa Ouled will continue to defend these human rights activists until justice prevails.

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Alarming situation of Saharawi political prisoners

Moroccan authorities have increased pressure and mistreatment of Saharawi political prisoners.

Mohamed Bani, Sidahmed Lemjeyid and Mbarek Lefkir were on a protest strike this Tuesday and Wednesday, they still do not have their belongings confiscated on September 16 when the Gdeim Izik prisoners were dispersed in 7 prisons in Morocco. This group that is detained in Ait Melloul spends most of the day inside individual cells and the guards have been trying through threats to force them to sign blank paper sheet. So far the Saharawi activists have refused. Their health situation is also getting worse.

Hassan Dah and Brahim Ismaili also from the group of Gdeim Izik detained in Tiflet2 prison are on hunger strike due to the ill-treatment to which they have been subjected. In response to this protest the prison administration sent Brahim Ismaili to a ward for prisoners with psychiatric diseases, in a cell without the minimum of hygienic conditions and infested by insects.

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Saharawi political prisoner Abdallah Boukioud released after 4 years of ordeal

Yesterday, 29 October 2017, Saharawi political prisoner Abdallah Boukioud was released after serving four years in prison,  sentenced by the Moroccan occupation authorities because of his political views.

Boukioud, who served the end of his sentence in Tiznit prison, was subjected to torture and continuous ill-treatment during his detainment and held several prolonged hunger strikes.

4 years of suffering and torture

Arrested on 27 October 2013 and sentenced to four years in prison for having participated in a peaceful demonstration demanding the rights of the Saharawi people, he was charged and convicted for damage to public property, belonging to an armed group and obstruction of public road, causing injuries to civil servants.

None of these allegations was substantiated either in the court of first instance or in the court of appeal, the only “evidence” being a supposed video that was never brought before the court, despite the insistence of Mr Boukioud’s lawyer.

The evidence submitted by the defense showing that Mr Boukioud was not in the place where the alleged disturbances occurred on the date referred to by the court were not admitted by the court. None of the evidence submitted by Mr Boukioud’s lawyer was admitted to court. (see report here)

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