Morocco condemns young Saharawis activists

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PUSL.- Young Saharawi activists were sentenced from one year to two and a half years in prison by a Moroccan court in El Aaiun in occupied Western Sahara on false charges.

The judgments were delivered by the El Aaiun Court of Appeal on 4 September. In addition to imprisonment, juveniles will be required to pay a fine of 30,000 dirhams (about 3,000 euros) each as alleged compensation for damage to Moroccan security forces that maintain the illegal occupation of the territory.

The verdict of two years, was given to Ali Mahrouk, Sufian Bougnour, Al-Hafiz Ayyash, El Jalil Bluz and Abderahman Talbi.

Hafez Riahi, Akai Adoueihi, Mohamed Aali El Kori, Erguibi Saidalizid and Salek Boussoula were sentenced to two and a half years.

The Saharawi youths have been accused of “sabotaging public vehicles, putting up barricades on public roads in order to disrupt traffic and attacks on public forces.” Accusations that are used in almost all trials of Saharawi activists and are never accompanied by evidence except police documents or confessions obtained under coercion and torture. The accused denied all charges.

The alleged facts date back to July 19 in the town of El Aaiun, where celebrations for the Algerian team’s victory in the African Nations Cup quickly turned into parades for independence and an end to the Moroccan occupation.

During these events, a young Saharawi student died after being hit by police vehicles.

After the sentences, the youths were mistreated by the police present at court and transferred to El Aaiun Black Prison.

We recall that 4 minors are on probation with the same charges.
The presence of international observers at the trial was not allowed and CODAPSO President Mohamed Dadach, activist, former political prisoner and RAFTO human rights prize was also prevented from attend the trial.