Letter sent to the EU sub-committee on human rights concerning the situation of the Saharawi political prisoner, Houssein Amaadour
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Open letter to the Chair of the DROI – Subcommittee on Human Rights
Mr Udo BULLMAN
Following the speech of 18 January this year at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament on the human rights situation in Morocco, given by the Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Adina Vălean, on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on this subject, we hereby ask you to intervene in the case of the Saharawi political prisoner, Mr Houssein Amaadour.
In this speech it was stated that “Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms underpins the strong and strategic partnership that the European Union has built with Morocco over time, and which we are committed to developing further. ”
Houssein Amaadour transferred to a prison further away from his family after 33 days of hunger strike
The aim of this transfer is to avoid further demonstrations of support from the family of the Saharawi political prisoner, Houssein Amadour, and the support of friends and relatives of other prisoners, as well as the NGO CODESA.
We recall that the family and other people who were in front of Ait Melloul prison to express their support (in a non-violent way) for the political prisoner Amaadour were repeatedly attacked by the Moroccan authorities, leaving several injured.
On 23 March 2023, the Moroccan authorities forcibly transferred the Saharawi political prisoner and hunger striker “Houssein Bachir AMAADOUR” from local prison 01 in Ait Melloul / Morocco to the central prison Moul Al-Bargu in Safi / Morocco.
The Saharawi human rights defender “Soukina Bachir AMAADOUR” received, at about 3.30 in the afternoon, a brief telephone call from her brother, in which he confirmed that he had been transferred to the central prison, Moul Al-Bargu, and that he was continuing his hunger strike.
AMAADOUR is on hunger strike to claim his full rights according to the minimum standard of the United Nations such as the right to medical attention and other basic rights which protect his physical integrity as well as a transfer to a prison closer to his family, who live in the town of Tantan, some 333 km from Ait Melloul.
The Moroccan authorities have not only refused for the moment to respond to the political prisoner’s demands, they have transferred him to the prison of Safi 640 km from his family home.
AMAADOUR was sentenced to 12 years in prison, after a trial which lacked any legal basis and was the result of action by Spain which sent him “hot-foot” back to Morocco after Amaadour had sought political asylum in Spain.
Since he went on hunger strike, Amaadour has been the victim of systematic reprisals. Also the family members and friends who support him have suffered fierce repression and the family home in Tantan is under police siege.
The forced transfer of the Saharawi political prisoner, Houssein Bachir AMAADOUR, confirms that he is on hunger strike and that his health has begun to deteriorate because of medical neglect, which has led his family to lodge a complaint with the competent authorities for a medical examination of their son, who has been on hunger strike since 20 February 2023.
We call on the DROI. to act in accordance with the principles of the European Union and in accordance with the declarations made on 18 January this year and to remind the Kingdom of Morocco that the basis of the relationship between this state and the EU is based on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and that it must act accordingly. In this case it means the respect of the United Nations’ Nelson Mandela rules and the transfer to a prison closer to the family of the Saharawi political prisoner Amaadour.
We recall that Morocco enjoys multiple financial support from the European Union under the permissive and elementary basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.