Saharawi political prisoner Abdallah Boukioud released after 4 years of ordeal

Yesterday, 29 October 2017, Saharawi political prisoner Abdallah Boukioud was released after serving four years in prison,  sentenced by the Moroccan occupation authorities because of his political views.

Boukioud, who served the end of his sentence in Tiznit prison, was subjected to torture and continuous ill-treatment during his detainment and held several prolonged hunger strikes.

4 years of suffering and torture

Arrested on 27 October 2013 and sentenced to four years in prison for having participated in a peaceful demonstration demanding the rights of the Saharawi people, he was charged and convicted for damage to public property, belonging to an armed group and obstruction of public road, causing injuries to civil servants.

None of these allegations was substantiated either in the court of first instance or in the court of appeal, the only “evidence” being a supposed video that was never brought before the court, despite the insistence of Mr Boukioud’s lawyer.

The evidence submitted by the defense showing that Mr Boukioud was not in the place where the alleged disturbances occurred on the date referred to by the court were not admitted by the court. None of the evidence submitted by Mr Boukioud’s lawyer was admitted to court. (see report here) Read more

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Morocco expels MEP’s for fear of the truth

A group of 5 MEPs from the Western Sahara Intergroup tried to visit today El Aaiun in the occupied territories of Western Sahara under Moroccan military occupation since 1975, after landing at the airport the MEPs were prevented from leaving the plane and forced to return on the same plane to Las Palmas (Spain). According to statements by Swedish MEP Bodil Valero, the authorities asked them for their passports, inside the plane, to which MEPs refused.

Several passengers expressed their solidarity with this group of MEPs.

The delegation was composed of the Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland (S & D), chair of the Intergroup; Paloma López Bermejo (IU) vice president, Josu Juaristi (EH Bildu), Lidia Senra (Galega Alternativa Esquerdas) from Spain and Bodil Valero (Greens / ALE), also from Sweden, accompanied by an assistant. The purpose of the visit was to hold meetings with Saharawi civil society, victims of human rights violations and activists in the city, as well as to closely monitor the situation under Moroccan occupation and demographic change, with the introduction of hundreds of thousands of Moroccan settlers . Read more

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Morocco today deported a delegation of Members of the European parliament from the occupied city of Laayoune in Western Sahara. The delegation, all members of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Western Sahara, was headed by Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland (S&D). The other MEPs are Paloma Lopez(GUE/NGL), Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA), Lidia Senra (GUE/NGL), and Josu Juaristi (GUE/NGL). Commenting today, Polisario EU Representative Mohamed Sidati said:

“This is yet another example of Morocco’s deliberate and continual attempt to hide its ongoing and systematic human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

I spoke with the delegation to express our solidarity, and thank them for their efforts to see for themselves the dire human rights situation for Sahrawis living under Morocco’s illegal occupation. The delegation was set to meet with Human Rights organisations and activists, as well as a broad spectrum of Civil Society representatives in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Read more

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The African Union does not accept a summit with the European Union without SADR

October 16, 2017.- SADR won a diplomatic victory that history will maintain as a recognition of Africa to the heroism of a people who for decades have opposed injustice, oppression, exodus and the complicity of many of the powerful in our world.

Thus, the Honorable Council of Foreign Ministers of the African Union has decided that the Continental Organization does not accept  a summit with the European Union without SADR.

The Council gave a firm mandate to the President of the Union Commission to persuade Côte d’Ivoire to send the invitation to participate to the SADR by 27 October and if this decision is not fulfilled the EU-AU Partnership Summit will AUTOMATICALLY  be organized in Addis Ababa.

This historical political position in Africa was taken after several hours of debates where Morocco used all the means and arms in its power in the Conference Hall and beyond. A well-known extra-African power did what it could to provide its support by exerting direct pressure on many delegations.

A large majority made loud and clear that Africa has to be respected through its strong attachment to its Constitutive Act, its principles and decisions. Read more

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Saharawi journalist prohibited from continuing his studies

Laayoune / Western Sahara News Network Activists.

Bashir Eddekly is 20 years old, a journalist, a former political prisoner, and now also a former student.

After having studied experimental science for a year at College Ibn Battuta, he was forced to quit because of his political activities.

Bashir was active in the students movement in occupied Laayoune, and the expulsion comes only a short while after he was arrested and detained for 4 months.

It is very likely that the Moroccan intelligence service forced the administration of the institution to expel him and thereby prevent him from completing his education. Read more

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IV Commission of the United Nations: Western Sahara, self-determination as only alternative

New York (SPS)

Algeria states “there is no other alternative than self-determination”

Algeria’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Sabri Boukadoum, stated in his speech before the  Fourth Committee  that the decolonization of Western Sahara is “an urgent and crucial issue for the stability of the region,” and reiterated that “there is no alternative to the respect for the exercise the right to self-determination “.

“For Algeria, the resolution of the Western Sahara conflict is an urgent and crucial issue for the stability, progress and integration of the Maghreb,” said Boukadoum, before stating that it is “deplorable that in 2017 there are still 17 non-autonomous countries – outstanding of decolonization “.

The Algerian diplomat said that “the status of Western Sahara is unequivocal,” since it is a matter of “decolonization registered at the UN for over 50 years.”

“All the UN resolutions on Western Sahara adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council affirm the unequivocal legal nature of the conflict as well as the application of the principle of self-determination,” Boukadoum said. Read more

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SADR warns that it will participate as one country more at the AU-EU summit in Abidjan

Argel, 11 oct ( Saharawi Foreign Minister Mohammad Ould Salek said today that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) will participate as an additional country at the summit between the African Union and the European Union in Abidjan on 29 and 30 November.

At a press conference in Algiers, Ould Salek also attacked France, accusing the country of selling arms and ammunition to Morocco and hampering the efforts of the Security Council to hold a referendum on UN-backed self-determination.

“SADR will participate in the next AU-EU summit as all remaining AU member states on an equal footing. Without SADR there will be no summit,” he said.

Ould Salek accused Rabat of trying to avoid the Saharawi presence by seeking a new partner in France.

“Morocco is hampering the efforts of UN envoys along with France, which is pressuring Côte d’Ivoire and urges the AU to evade the decision of an organization of respect and right of all member states to participate in the meeting”

“France has blocked the organization of a referendum in the Security Council and has prevented Minurso from monitoring human rights in Western Sahara,” the minister said. “The French state has armed Moroccan forces and provided them with various weapons and ammunition. Read more

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Gdeim Izik families in Rabat forced to end protest

At the end of this morning the Moroccan authorities interrupted the peaceful protest of the relatives of the Saharawi political prisoners in front of the General Administration of the Penitentiaries and Social Reinsertion of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Families have been protesting last week against the ill-treatment of Sahrawi political prisoners known as the Gdeim Izik group demanding the right to visit, feed and regroup these human rights activists in the same prison.

This group of 19 Saharawi political prisoners was separated and dispersed by 7 different prisons in Morocco on 16 September.

Although there has already been a meeting between relatives and the head of the General Administration of Penitentiaries, the prisoners’ conditions have not improved, being several of them on hunger strike.

Families in the occupied territories of Western Sahara are also protesting in front of their homes and also were victims of police attacks.

These attacks are committed 12 days before the visit of the sub-committee against torture of the United Nations. Read more

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4th UN Commission called to visit the occupied territories of Western Sahara

Isabel Lourenço

At the meeting of the Fourth Committee for the Decolonization of the United Nations, which took place between 3 and 6 October, Isabel Lourenço, collaborator of PUSL and member o Fundación Sahara Occidental, denounced the situation of the political prisoners and drew attention to the responsibility of the international community who with his silent complicity and inaction is responsible for the suffering of the Saharawi people.
After denouncing some of the crimes committed by the Kingdom of Morocco, she called for the visit of a mission of the 4th Commission to the occupied territories, as stipulated in the mandate of this body.

Read more

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