Saharawi political prisoner Mohamed Bourial starts hunger strike
PUSL.- The family of Mohamed Bourial informed that this political prisoner of the Gdeim Izik group, started a hunger strike today.
Mohamed Bourial detained in Tiflet2 demands to be transferred to a prison near his family in El Aaiun, respect for his fundamental rights, end of all ill-treatment and isolation and medical attention.
In Tiflet2, the saharawi prisoners are subjected to prolonged confinement, harassment, mistreatment and their basic rights are not respected. Families struggle to visit them since Tiflet is more than 1300 km from El Aaiun.
Tiflet2 is known as one of the worst prisons in Morocco, where many prisoners only leave from there in a coffin, often referred to as the Guantánamo of Morocco.
On May 7, 2018, Bourial was transferred from Kenitra prison to Tiflet2, where he was in prolonged confinement in a block with criminals among them prisoners with psychiatric problems being attacked by one of those prisoners with a knife.
On July 11, 2018, he was transferred from the prison of Tiflet2, to almost 1300 kilometers from El Aaiún, to Bouzakarn for a period of 93 days to then return to Tiflet2 where the mistreatment continues.
Bourial has made several long hunger strikes and his state of health is very weakened.
Born in 1976, Mohamed Bourial was a member of the Gdeim Izik Negotiations Committee, the peaceful protest camp that brought together more than 30,000 Sahrawi outside El Aaiun, in the occupied territories of Western Sahara for almost a month before being brutally dismantled by the Moroccan occupation forces, the same ones that detained and tortured hundreds of Sahrawis in the following days.
The Gdeim Izik Group was tried in 2013 by a military court in a legal process recognized as null and illegal by the international community, where the sentences ranged from 20 years to life imprisonment for 21 of the 24 of the initial group. In 2017, after the Moroccan supreme court declared the evidence insufficient and the military trial void, there was a civil trial.
In 2010, after the dismantling of the camp Mohamed Bourial was detained and brutally tortured for five days, then he continued to be tortured for months. One of the tortures denounced during the trial in Rabat, in 2013, was having been tied to a “grid”, electrocuted for 16 hours and sprayed with cold water in the presence of the torturer Bou Astiya. He was detained for four months in solitary confinement.
After the tortures he signed confessions in a forced manner, as he denounced before the courts.
During the ninth session of the trial, on February 16, 2013 in the military court of Rabat, Mohamed Bourial declared:
“I am innocent, I sympathize with all the victims of Gdeim Izik, I am here because we defend independence … We are innocent !! We are detained because we fight for our independence in a peaceful way.
Testemony de Mohamed Bourial on March 20, 2017 in the court of Salé, Rabat:
Mohammed Bourial was the third to declare on Monday, March 20, in the case of Gdeim Izik. Bourial began his testimony by explaining what Gdeim Izik’s camp was like. Gdeim Izik was a movement that consisted of thousands of Saharawi who built tents in the desert, and had social demands. Bourial was the head of the dialogue committee and explained how this committee and the government reached an agreement two days before the dismantling. It was expected that the Interior Minister would come to the camp with 9 tents to organize a population census, so that the government could respond to the demands proposed by the Saharawi population. The government did not keep its promise, and the people in the camp were surprised by the attack, which occurred at dawn.
Bourial said: “The camp of Gdeim Izik revealed the policy of the Moroccan occupier, and the way in which they marginalize the population of Western Sahara and steal our resources.” Gdeim Izik is the result of the marginalization of all Sahrawi by the occupation of Morocco In Western Sahara, the camp lasted 28 days, there were no crimes or violence, and the Moroccan occupier attacked women, children, the elderly and men on November 8.
Bourial denied all the accusations and affirmed that “the one that must be judged, is the one that ordered the attack against the camp of Gdeim Izik, not us.”
Bourial told how, on 7 November 2010, the police chief of Laayoune approached him and said: “I arrested Naama Asfari tonight, tomorrow is your turn.” He replied that Asfari had been captured at that time, so giving orders was almost impossible. On November 8th, he was arrested by the police and taken to the police station, where he was detained for five days and tortured all the time. In front of the investigating judge, he was tortured, Bourial denounced.
Bourial invoked the right to remain silent when the civil party raised questions, since the civil party deprived him of the presumption of innocence. The defense was interrupted constantly when he defended both the civil party and the prosecution, the Attorney General of the King rose several times and hit the microphone. Bourial said that all the documents are false and that he did not know their contents until he was tried in the military court of Rabat in 2013. He denounced that all the confessio