Morocco/Western Sahara: Investigate brutal crackdown on Sahrawi protesters

amnesty.org.- The Moroccan authorities must impartially and effectively investigate the use of excessive force by the security forces against Sahrawi protesters in Laayoune who were celebrating Algeria’s football victory in the Africa Cup of Nations on 19 July, said Amnesty International today.

The organization has verified video footage and gathered witness testimony indicating that security forces, who were heavily present on the streets and in cafés during the football match, used excessive force, throwing rocks to disperse the crowds of demonstrators and sparking clashes. According to two eyewitnesses, Sabah Njourni a 24-year-old woman, was killed after she was mowed down by two Moroccan auxiliary force cars.

“There is clear evidence to suggest that the Moroccan security forces’ initial response to the Sahrawi protests, which began peacefully, was excessive, and provoked violent clashes which could and should have been avoided. The authorities must impartially and effectively investigate the attacks on protesters and bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible in fair trials,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

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