Saharawi student leader will be presented to the Judge of instruction on January 29

PUSL . -Lahoucine Amaadour (Saharawi name Husein Bachir Brahim) will be presented to the judge of instruction in Marrakesh on 29 January.

The young man was deported on 17 January from the Canary Islands after refusing an application for asylum in circumstances that until now have not been clarified by the Spanish authorities, and detained by the Moroccan authorities on his return, and is currently detained in Oudaya prison in Marrakesh.

Who is Lahoucine Amaadour / Husein Bachir Brahim?

Husein Bachir Brahim Saharaui was born on January 3, 1991 in Guelmin, grew up in the capital of Western Sahara, El Aaiun where he spent his childhood until the family went to live in Tan Tan. As all Sahrawis he has an “Moroccan” name Lahoucine Amaadour, imposed by the occupation authorities and that is the official name throughout the documentation.

In 2011/2012 he began his public law studies at the Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, and was in the third year of law when he had to interrupt his studies due to the persecution of the Moroccan authorities. Amaadour was known for his political activity and one of the leaders of the Association of Saharawi Students who defends the rights of students, but also advocates the independence of Western Sahara.

Like all Saharawi activists, this young student was also the victim of political persecution and intimidation by the Moroccan police.

Since 2016 Amaadour was forced to avoid all public appearances. The year in which the students known as the El Uali group were arrested and sentenced to 3 and 10 years in prison. Ten of these students were released on 25 January 2019. The Moroccan authorities issued a national search and arrest warrant for Amaadour which according to the Moroccan authorities is the head of the Saharawi student organizations and all protests at the university of Agadir.

The arrival in Spain

In a situation of desperation due to the intensive search of the Moroccan authorities Amaadour decided to cross the Atlantic in a boat of emigrants and on 11 January arrived at the Island of Lanzarote. On arrival he was arrested by the Spanish police and immediately asked for political Asylum.

What happened next is not very clear, due to the problems posed by the Spanish authorities to let Amaadour talk to his family. After a phone call in which Amaadour said he had been with a lawyer and was going to court on the 14th, there was no further information until he learned of his expulsion. It remains to be ascertained whether or not he was at the Court, but it appears that it did not go to court and did not have time to initiate any legal action.

The contours of this expulsion are yet to be clarified, the refusal of asylum raises serious questions since Amaadour fits in and has all the necessary requirements for acceptance of asylum request in accordance with Spanish and European law.

The young man went on dry hunger strike (without food or liquid intake) until his deportation to Nadour on 17 January. It is not known whether he had medical care during that time.

Fundación Sahara Occidental (FUSO) was contacted to locate the young man since he did not contact the family for several days. A day after being located and FUSO being in the process of hiring a lawyer to represent him, Amaadour was deported.

Back to Morocco

On arrival in Nadour, the young man was subjected to a first interrogation by the Moroccan authorities, based on the search and arrest warrant. According to the information of the family Amaadour refused to sign the documents that were presented to him since the content does not correspond to the their statements.

The questions focused on his political and student activity and his opinion on the conflict in Western Sahara and which Saharawi activists he knows.

The same type of interrogation was repeated in Casablanca, where according to the family, Amaadour denounced being beaten. Once more he refused to sign any documents.

On 21 January Amaadour was presented to the King’s Procuratorate in Marrakesh and sent to the Oudaya prison in Marrakesh.

Next January 29 he will be presented to the Judge of first instance.

This detention occurred only a few days before the release, on 25 January, of 10 students of the El Uali group detained in 2016 (Nasser Amenkoura, Mustafa Burkah, Omar Laajna, Mohammed Rgueibi, Ali Shargui, Hamza Ramí, El Wafi Wakari, Ahmed Abba Ali, Ibrahim Almasih, Salek Baber). Omar Beijni will be released in March this year and El Kantaoui Albar, Abedmoula Elhafidi, Aziz Aluahidi and Mohammed Dada are still being held serving a 10-year sentence of which 7 are still to be fulfilled.

The situation of the Saharawi Students has been closely monitored by PUSL (report and articles) and the Fundación Sahara Occidental (FUSO), which sent several observers to the trials.

A collaborator of PUSL and member of FUSO met with Amaadour in 2015 in Agadir, at which time the young student denounced the situation of Saharawi students in Moroccan universities, economic difficulties, political persecution and conditions imposed on Saharawis, as well as the firm belief in a free and sovereign Western Sahara. Amaadour emphasized the non-violent character of the Saharawi resistance, which, however, does not mean that they abandon the only acceptable solution, namely self-determination. The young man showed a great disappointment with the International Community and the status quo of the conflict due to non-compliance of the realization of the referendum that was the basis of the 1991 peace agreement.

Unfortunately we have now seen that Amaadour continues to have every reason for his disbelief in the international community, this time it was Spain who turned his back on this young man and deported him to be arrested and most likely tortured.

In the European parliament the deputies of the Spanish party Podemos and the MEP Marina Albiol Gúzman of Izquierda Unida sent written questions demanding clarifications on the expulsion of Amaadour.

The Saharawi community in the Canary Islands, the Solidarity Association and the Polisario Front delegation held a protest on 25 January condemning this expulsion and accusing Spain of handing over to Morocco an activist when it is known that activists are beaten, tortured and imprisoned without having judgments that meet the minimum requirements of justice.

Clarification by the Government of Spain on the contours of this expulsion that endangered the life of this young student are still pending.




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