Yahya Mohamed el Hafed location confirmed, transferred to Asfi prison

On 3 July 2021, imprisoned saharawi human rights defender Yahya Mohamed Elhafed Iaazza was arbitrary transferred from Bouzairkarn to an unknown location. For days, his family did not know where he was until it was confirmed that he had arrived in Asfi prison – located approximately 630 km away from his family.

On the same day as his transferral – protesting the act of reprisal against him by the prison administration – Yahya commenced on an open hunger strike.

During a visit on 15 July, he was transported in a wheelchair to meet his brother, unable to walk due to this fast deteriorating health condition. Yahya demands to be transferred to a prison closer to his family.

On 26 and 27 July, the Gdeim Izik prisoners entered into a 48-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Yahya on 26 and 27 July, with the imprisoned students following swift on 28 and 29 July, also undertaking a hunger strike in solidarity with Yahya.

On 29 July, the family of Yahya tried to visit Yahya in prison in order to check on his situation. The family was however prevented from visiting Yahya on the grounds of visits being banned due to COVID-19.

The family was however able to have a brief encounter with the prison director. The prison director informed the family that Yahya is still on a hunger strike and that Yahya is very sick. He informed that the demand of Yahya is to be transferred to Tan Tan prison (the city where the family lives).

Yahya himself has not contacted his family ever since his arbitrary transfer on 3 July 2021. The family remains extremely worried about the health and safety of Yahya.