New report concludes: Western Sahara activists (known as the Gdeim Izik group) on arbitrary detention

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The political activists, known as the Gdeim Izik Group, was on the 19th of July condemned to harsh sentences in the absence of material evidence. New report [1], written by international observer Tone Sørfonn Moe, conclude that the 19 detainees are, and have for almost seven years, been imprisoned on arbitrary detention. 

The Group of Gdeim Izik has been subjected to severe human rights violations, including torture and inhumane treatment both during arrest and in prison, and are still suffering under inhumane treatment. “The court provoked that Eênama Asfari lied and provoked false accusations. The court thus provoked that the accused declared false allegations upon torture, and retrieved the policemen (accused of torturing) to the witness box. The testimony of the policemen (torturers) was used as evidence in the final evidence evaluation, as supportive evidence to the police records (confessions under torture of which the accused claims were falsified against them). Instead of complying with its international obligations, Morocco did the exact opposite; They used illegal evidence, and instead of investigating the policemen, they used their testimony against the defendants.” Ms. Tone Sørfonn Moe stated.

Mads Andenæs, professor of law at the University of Oslo, and former head of the UN Committee on Arbitrary detention, expresses deep concern after observing the court case against 24 human rights activists from the occupied parts of Western Sahara. 19 of the 24 Saharawis remain in jail to this date.

“The current report documents serious violations of international law on torture and fair trial. The breach of the international law on the right to a fair trial in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Morocco’s other international obligations renders the deprivation of liberty of the 19 detainees arbitrary. The 19 detainees were subjected to abductions or arrest involving torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Their unlawful treatment has continued during their detention. The group has been detained for some seven years. Their conviction was not based on sufficient criminal material evidence,” Mr. Andenæs stated in foreword to the report.

The 19 detainees has been subjected to grave human rights violations, including torture, inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention pending nearly seven years”, Ms. Moe stresses, and notes further that “the only way this group of political activists from the occupied territories of Western Sahara will have justice, is if the international community intervenes”.

[1] See here: REPORT