The SADR Ministry of Information communicates that violent demonstrations broke out 11th and 12 th May in the occupied town of El Ayoun against the Moroccan occupation. Hundreds of young Sahrawis had demonstrated in that town, carrying the SADR flag and placards with the slogans "Yes to independance, no to occupation" and "Invasors go out".
The manifestants, first regrouped before the hotel Negjir, divided into three groups. The first was going to the"Unity Camps" (where Sahrawis, who inhabited Morocco, are illegally settled by the Moroccan authorities to participate to the referendum), the second took the direction of Smara, the holy city, and the third the direction of the villas quarter. The Moroccan authorities had arrested more than 100 demonstrators. The Ministry adds that the town is still isolated and that arrestations and tortures are going on. The Polisario Front demands international intervention to put an end to the Moroccan repressive policy.
A few days later Mr Erik Jensen, in a hearing before the U.N. Security Council in New York, confirmed the manifestations and the arrests.
Morocco denied the MINURSO any right of intervention in this case.
A Moroccan military court sentenced eight students from Western Sahara to between 15 and 20 years in prison on charges of threatening state security. "After four hour deliberation, the court sentenced the group to between 15 and 20 years imprisonment, " a lawyer, member of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH), said. The students, aged between 18 and 21, were arrested in the Western Saharan capital of Laayoun on May 11 after taking part in a demonstration in support of the Polisario Front.
Four of them were sentenced to 20 years, two to 17 and two others to 15 years in jail. The students names are: