Saharawi Political Prisoners from Gdeim Izik Group suffering continued inhumane treatment

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PUSL.- Two years and eight month after the last judgement of group of political prisoners known as the Gdeim Izik Group the 19 saharawi detained in Moroccan prisons continue to be object of ill treatment.

The Gdeim Izik Saharawi political prisoners continue to have lack of medical assistance which is repeatedly refused by the. Moroccan authorities although most of them suffer from chronic diseases and others resulting from almost ten years of incarceration, torture and isolation.

The majority of these prisoners are in prolonged isolation since their dispersion to different prisons in 2017. This form of punishment is considered one of the worst tortures that have not only serious psychological but also physical impact.

The restrictions on contact with their families due, not only to the long distances the prisons are located from El Aaiun (642 to 1300km),but also the arbitrary denial of visitation rights and the fact that phone calls are reduced to a few minutes per week for some of them increase the isolation factor.

Several of the prisoners were unaccounted for during one month, as was the case of Sidahmed Lemjeyid and Lekhfir detained in Ait Melloul prison, in November 2019. No contact was established with the family.

The French defence lawyer Maitre Olfa Ouled of these prisoners is still waiting for authorization to visit her clients, having been expelled from Morocco on her last attempt to visit after the judgement.

Maitre Ouled has presented several complaints at the national level in Morocco, requesting repeatedly medical assistance and respect of the basic right of the prisoners to the Moroccan Judiciary, the most recent case being that of Ait Melloul.

This group of men that were abducted and are under arbitrary detention since 2010 in Moroccan Jails have been sentenced by an illegal military trial in 2013 and re-trialed in a civil trial in 2016/2017. The re-trial was result of a decision of the Court de Cassation (Moroccan Supreme Court) which stated that the previous trial did not present enough evidence besides the documents produced by the police and the “confessions” of the accused.

All of the accused repeatedly stated that all confessions were obtained under duress and torture and that none of it was true since their first appearance in front of the investigative judge.

Maitre Ouled explained to PUSL that the Court de Cassation still has to give the final decision, which means that the process is not closed.