26 European Deputies denounce situation of Saharawi political prisoners – Gdeim Izik
In a letter promoted by Paloma Lopéz from the United Left, sent today to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Frederica Mogherini, MEPs from Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK urge the European Union and Mogherini to intervene to end the ill-treatment and torture to which the political prisoners of Gdeim Izik have been subjected and the liberation of these group of Saharawi Political prisoners.
These MEP’s are members of various political groups (Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left; Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance; Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) highlight the worrying health situation of prisoners in Hunger Strike for more than 3 weeks, prisoners placed as “punishment” in tiny cells known as “coffin” without clothing, and the forced confinement of all prisoners of Gdeim Izik who are 22 hours or more detained in individual cells.
Dear HR/VP Federica Mogherini,
We write to you as Members of the European Parliament to express our deep concern at the situation of two Saharawi imprisoned by Moroccan authorities, Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah and Ahmed Sbaai, who were put in isolated confinement the 4th on December.
The situation of these political prisoners is critical: they are totally alone, in small isolation cells called “boxes”, naked without blankets or anything to cover themselves and physically tortured by prison authorities. Furthermore, the psychological torture of being alone during the whole day is aggravated by already pre-existing prohibition to the families to visit them in prison. Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah and Ahmed Sbaai are in very delicate health. In fact, Ahmed Sbaai has a chronic heart disease that is not monitored by a doctor.
This kind of torture and abuses are the modus operandi of Morocco with the 19 Gdeim Izik prisoners, but in this case the health issue is more than worrying and we ask you to take action on the matter. This group of Saharawi political prisoners are incarcerating since 2010, when they were arrested in the context of Gdeim Izik camp protest. All of them were charged with the murder of 11 members of the civil force that allegedly died during the violent dismantlement of the camp. These men were sentenced to 20 years to life in prison by a military court in 2013. The punishment were confirmed in July 2017 in a trial that did not comply with the right to presumption of innocence and were no crime could be proven, and all proceedings were based on documentation and confessions obtained under torture.
On the 16th of September the 19 Saharawi political prisoners were dispersed throughout 7 prisons in the Moroccan Kingdom. After that day, the treatment given by the Moroccan authorities to the detainees has been in violation with the UN Minimum Standard Rules of Prisoners, and in violation of the international agreements and covenants ratified by Morocco as well as the Moroccan law itself. The prisoners are subjected to harassment, confinement for over 22 hours per day and, at least one case, even longer for the last three months. Cruel and inhumane punishment, lack of medical attention and violation of the visitation rights of the families are another abuse practices that they suffer. Several of the detainees have been on prolonged hunger strike over 3 weeks and are in a life threatening health condition with two of them, Brahim Ismaili and Hassan Dah, vomiting blood.
We urge you and the European Union to intervene in this harmful situation, due to the delicate health of Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah and Ahmed Sbaai, and to provide them with the proper humane care that is established in international humanitarian law, and to call on the Moroccan government to release the political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group.
Paloma López Bermejo
Liadh Ni Riada
Patrick Le Hyaric
Angela Vallina de la Noval
Tania González Peñas
Josu Juaristi Abaunz
Javier Couso Permuy
Miguel Urbán Crespo
Marina Albiol Guzmán
Luke Ming Flanagan
Estefania Torres Martínez
Xabier Benito Ziluaga
António Marinho e Pinto