Western Sahara/Morocco: Families of the Saharawi political prisoners send a letter to Navi Pillay


The Committe of families of the Saharawi political prisoners sent a letter to Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, during her visit to Rabat demanding her speedy intervention to put an end to the suffering of the Saharawi political prisoners in general and Gdeim izik detainees in particular to ensure that their basic legitimate rights, first of which annulling the military sentences, be ensured.

“On November 8th, 2010, not only the Moroccan military and auxiliary forces’ forcefully and brutally raided Gdeim Izik camp that had been set up for social and political demands, but also they lead an indiscriminate campaign of arrests of Saharawis in general and of human rights activists in particular. Thus, more than 200 citizen were arrested in secret detention centers, some of them in police and gendarmerie stations where they had been subject to all kinds of heinous and ugly physical and mental torture” the letter said.

The letter drew the attention of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay to their brutal detention and the circumstances of the their military trial “The detainees received all kinds of cruel, degrading and unhuman treatment before they were sent to the Dark Jail in El Aaiun city in Western Sahara while 24 detainees, that comprised human rights activists and members of “the committee of dialogue with the Moroccan state” who represented the Gdeim izik campers, were displaced to the horrible Salé prison in Morocco where they stood before a military court that issued unjust and unfair provisions ranging from 20 years to life sentence. In the same context, all international observers and dignified personalities that attended the court procedures, some of them were members of the European Parliament accredited to the Moroccan state in addition to some international associations and bodies attended and followed the trial, they all agreed on its invalidity and flawlessness including 18 Moroccan associations. They, thus, considered the trail as politically motivated and that it violates the detainees’ rights as it was devoid of the fair trial standards”

The committee also demanded the UN High Commssioner of Human Rights “to urgently intervene and put pressure on the Moroccan state to release all the Saharawi political prisoners and on top of them the Gdeim izik group, and open a fair and just investigation in cases of the physical and mental torture that was inflicted on them”


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