Impala/PUSL.- The Portuguese activist Isabel Lourenço was this Tuesday, December 10, expelled from the occupied territories of Western Sahara by the Moroccan authorities. The Portuguese had a valid passport, return flight and hotel reserved. Moroccans who identified themselves as “authorities” and “officials” wanted to prevent Isabel Lourenço from disembarking from the plane at El Aiune Airport in Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, where she wanted to meet relatives of Saharawi political prisoners convicted by Moroccan courts. Isabel Lourenço arrives in Lisbon tomorrow at 2:40 pm.
The activist is in a hotel in Agadir and does not go out “for safety reasons”
“We bought the return ticket and tomorrow will leave Agadir to Casablanca and later to Lisbon,” explains Isabel Lourenço’s husband, speaking to Impala News Portal. At the moment, the Portuguese activist is in a hotel in Agadir and does not go out “for security reasons”. «Tomorrow you will go to the airport by taxi.»
«I landed at El Aiune and all passengers could leave except me»
The Portuguese activist was destined for Agadir to meet the family of prisoner Mansour El Moussaui, 19, and his 34-year-old cousin Mahfouda Lefkir, who was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of 2,000 dirham for screaming at the end of Mansour’s trial, inside the courtroom, against the occupation of Morocco and against the injustice of the trial. She also wanted to meet the families of the Gdeim Izik Group saharawi political prisoners.
Speaking to Impala’s website, Isabel Lourenço recalls what happened on Tuesday afternoon. “I landed at El Aiune and they said all passengers could leave except me,” she explains. The activist tried to find out what was going on, but was told that were “orders the pilot had received”.
“They told me that I had to go on the same plane to Marrakech, but I always refused. Those who spoke to me never identified themselves, they just told me that they were high officials and simply gave orders.
They removed her phone and computer and erased and reconfigured the contents.
For several hours she was not reachable. “They told me that I was persona non grata, that I could not talk to people without authorization and accused me of attacking sovereignty,” recalls the activist. “The last straw was when I was told that the people I wanted to talk to were not human.”
Isabel Lourenço was forced to board a public taxi in El Aaiun, according to her, to Agadir, which is more than ten hours away. They stopped in Inezgane, “a city known for its bad atmosphere,” at four in the morning, and told her to get out of the taxi. «I got another taxi to Agadir.»
At the moment, the Portuguese is in a hotel, but without access to the Portuguese mobile phone. “They took everything from me, I can’t even download the apps to send messages.” Isabel Lourenço has been communicating through a Moroccan number, but whose “balance is already ending”.
She has a return ticket for tomorrow arriving in Lisbon at 14h40 on the flight from Casablanca.
She has been in contact with the Portuguese embassy and the Consular emergency.
Prior to the trip, she informed thé portuguese embassy and various United Nations agencies.