PUSL.- The athletes participating in the “Paco Sánchez Falcón Relay for the freedom of Saharawi political prisoners” arrived today at 11:30 am in Luxembourg Square (Brussels), completing the 284 km separating Paris from Brussels.
Arriving in Brussels, they were welcomed by a representative of the Saharawi community in Belgium and France, by Maitre Olfa Ouled – lawyer of the prisoners of Gdeim Izik, Isabel Lourenço of porunsaharalibre.org (PUSL), as well as Sidmhamed Ahmed, the diaspora’s responsable in France and Belgium, and Mohamed Sidati Minister for Europe of the Polisario Front.
The athletes received a decoration and a tribute in thanks from the Saharawi community in France and Belgium.
Following the event in Luxembourg Square, they addressed the European Parliament, where a meeting was held with several Members, including Deputy João Ferreira (Portuguese Communist Party), Vice-President of the GUE / NGL Group, Francisco Guerreiro (Pan – People, Animals Nature) from Portugal), the assistant of Clara Aguilera (PSOE) and several members of the PODEMOS office.
During the meeting with MEPs Mohamed Sidati, Minister of Europe of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, spoke about the political situation of the conflict, followed by Portuguese human rights activist and porunsaharalibre.org (PUSL) member Isabel Lourenço, who spoke about the responsibility of the European Union in relation to the occupation through the financing that Morocco receives from that institution as well as the ill-treatment and system of repression in the occupied territories. Gdeim Izik’s lawyer for political prisoners, Maitre Olfa Ouled, informed the MEPs about the situation of her clients and the torture to which they are subjected and about the ongoing legal proceedings . Calling on the political support of MEPs to enforce international law.
Juan Manuel Sánchez Falcón and Adel Abdeslam Ahmed spoke on behalf of the athletes. Juan Manuel explained what the marathon was, the aims and reasons why they decided to support their presence at the solidarity sport event, as well as recalling the political responsibility that MEPs have in resolving the Saharawi conflict. For his part, Saharawi athlete Adel Abdeslam Ahmed spoke of his personal experience as a refugee, the ill-treatment and he torture suffered, including sexual harassment, by the Moroccan authorities and the unsustainable situation in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
The Portuguese MEPs João Ferreira and Francisco Guerreiro and members of PODEMOS spoke, thanking the presence of the organizers and participants of the marathon, reaffirming their solidarity and concrete actions in the European Parliament for the struggle of the Saharawi people.