Morocco condemns two Saharawi minors to one month in prison

Mustafa Lakbir Mustafa

According to information from the Collective of Saharawi Defenders of Human Rights of Western Sahara (CODESA), on March 31, 2021, the Court of First Instance of El Aaiún, in occupied Western Sahara, sentenced two underage Saharawi students to one month in prison. Mustafa and Taha Ajnafer, were convicted after spending 6 days in pre-trial detention at the local prison in El Aaiún.

The trial took place in a closed session with the presence of the defense and family members of the two minors accused of throwing stones, assaulting public officials in the performance of their duties and causing disturbances. Accusations that were denied by the two students.

The defense requested the immediate release of the minors based on the lack of evidence, as well as the lack of knowledge of the names of the victims and the material damage allegedly caused by the detainees.

The two young Saharawi students were arrested on March 25 in the Maatallah neighborhood of El Aaiun, after participating in a peaceful demonstration that was violently dispersed by the Moroccan occupation forces.

We recall that also on March 10, 2021, the court of the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeals for the occupation of El-Aaiun issued verdicts of 6 months in prison against minors, “Jamal Salem Abhi” (16 years old), “Yassin Aslima Hilal ”(16 years old) and“ Badr Bounawara ”(16 years old), currently on provisional release after spending about two months in detention.