original french


06. - 12.10.2002


Visiting Norway, Mansour Omar, the Saharawi health minister, accompanied by the delegate from the POLISARIO Front for the Nordic countries, Yahiaoui Lamine, met high level representatives of the Norwegian political authorities and civil society. Notably, he was received by Mrs Trine Skei Grande, parliamentary leader for the governing Liberal Party. The Saharawi minister expressed his satisfaction with the Norwegian stance in the Security Council, Norway being clearly opposed to the Moroccan project of limited autonomy for the Western Sahara. (


In a press release, Saharawi human rights defenders congratulated Mohammed Daddach, the longest-serving Saharawi prisoner of conscience, now Rafto Prize laureate for human rights (see
week 39), as well as Marguerite and Robert Emery, members of the International Bureau for the Respect of Human Rights in Western Sahara (BIRDHSO), winners of the 2002 Prize of the International Society for Human Rights - Swiss Section (ISHR-CH). The Saharawi activists asked the Norwegian government to intercede with the Moroccan authorities to permit Daddach to obtain a passport, so that he can travel to Norway in November to receive his prize. (Press release)

Relentless Repression
Roukaibi Sidi Mohamed has spent more than 10 years under house arrest in the South of Morocco.
A former Saharawi political detainee, of the Meknes group, he was imprisoned from November 1977 to November 1982.
On the 3rd January 1992, Roukaibi was taken from his office in the prefecture of Smara by agents of the DST (Department of Regional Security). He spent a week in a secret detention centre at Smara, and was then transferred to the Mobile Intervention Brigade's secret prison in El Ayoun. Roukaibi was savagely tortured in both prisons; this tortures came on top of those suffered by Derb Moulay Cherif and the 50-day hunger strike launched by the Saharawis of the Meknes group. After 5 months of torture, on the 5th May 1992, Roukaibi was taken by DST agents to the governor of Tata province, who told him he would be subject to house arrest in the centre of Akka. Now more than 10 years later, Roukaibi is still under house arrest, without any judicial decision to justify this. Merely a police decision was enough to keep Roukaibi Sidi Mohamed separated from his family for all this time. (corr.)

Meknes Group: 26 Saharawis (25 men and one woman) arrested and "disappeared" between April and December 1977. After 6 months hidden, they were brought before the examining magistrate. Imprisoned in Meknes, they were summoned to appear before the courts and sentenced for belonging to the POLISARIO Front. According to Amnesty International, they are the only group of Saharawis to have been brought before the courts, sentenced and then released at the end of their sentence.(amnesty international)

Trial deferred
The trial of Ali Salem Tamek has been put back to 17.10.02, on the request of his lawyers.


The King of Morocco named Driss Jettou, currently Minister of the Interior and without a political party, as the Prime Minister.


Official visit of the Algerian president to Spain
This visit saw official declarations by both parties on the Western Sahara.
- the King of Spain: the question of Western Sahara «concerns us particularly. Spain is convinced that only an agreement between the parties, who must rise up above the present difficulties, will make it possible to surmount the obstacles that persist, so as to find a stable and definitive solution, which respects international law, in order to smooth the way to the development of the Maghreb."
- Bouteflika: recalled "the conviction and determination of Algeria to work to stimulate the institutions of the Arab Maghreb Union", although "the Western Sahara question has unfortunately created a situation which compromises our efforts in this direction". He underlined that the decolonisation of Western Sahara "involves Spain's international responsibilites". Bouteflika appealed to Spain, " above all when she takes her seat at the Security Council", to strive to find at last a way out of this problem that undermines the stability and peace of the whole of the Arab Maghreb.
- The Spanish Foreign Minister: " our beliefs and positions (on the subject of Western Sahara) concur and confirm with UN resolutions" (.) "When Spain joins the UN Security Council next year, we will present the Saharawi problem for discussion".
- The Algerian president: «I am happy to note a wide convergence of views (.) relating to the national rights of the Palestinian people as well as the Saharawi people's right to self-determination."
- The president of the Spanish government, Jose Maria Aznar: "Spain's position has not changed since 1976", adding that it was necessary to respect the UN resolutions on this issue.
A treaty of friendship, good neighbourliness and Algero-Spanish co-operation was signed.


Several Spanish artists, under the banner of the Spanish Women Artists' and Singers' Platform Against Gender Violence, travelled to Brussels to plead with the European Parliament in favour of the referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people. The Spanish artists announced that they were supporting the candidature of Saharawi women for the Prince of the Asturias prize for 2003, for the work which they have achievd in the refugee camps since the invasion of the country in 1975.


Sahara Marathon 2003
For the third time, the Sahara Marathon will take place on the 24th February 2003, with a marathon between the camps of El Ayoun and Smara, and a semi-marathon and race of 10km and 5km.
For extreme sports amateurs, the Sahara Ultra Marathon goes on all the way to Dakhla. The total mileage is 190Km, or 118 miles, spread out over a mere 3 days. The first day is a 50-mile day. The second day is a 50-mile day. That's back-to-back 50 milers. And these days have a 12-hour cut-off time. The third day is 18 miles. Even the "Marathon des Sables", billing itself as the most difficult foot race in the world, does not confront the participant with back-to-back 50 mile days. Details and registration:
http://www.saharamarathon.org+ http://www.saharamarathon.org/caravan2.html

NEWS dall'Associazione "Ban Slout Larbi"

PRANZO DI SOLIDARIETÀ - Il giorno 26 ottobre 2002, in piazza Rapisardi a Sesto Fiorentino ci sarà un pranzo presso la Casa del Popolo di Colonnata, il cui ricavato verrà utilizzato per il Centro di aggregazione sociale di Auserd. Nei prossimi giorni sarà disponibile il volantino con maggiori informazioni.
RACCOLTA MATERIALE - Continua la raccolta di materiale per i bambini che vengono ospitati nel periodo estivo (abiti, asciugamani, pigiami, accappatoi, costumi da bagno, tute, felpe, borsoni, zaini) per poter essere pronti al loro arrivo, cercando di evitare un carico di lavoro eccessivo nel mese di giugno. Naturalmente il tutto deve essere pulito ed in condizioni più che decorose. C‚è bisogno anche di biancheria intima, ciabatte, scarpe, ma pensiamo che queste cose, se pur modeste, debbano essere nuove. Per maggiori informazioni è possibile rivolgersi a Gloria Conti al numero 338 8190262.

 VOLO 2003 - Dal 24 al 29 gennaio 2003: prossimo volo nei campi Saharawi (Algeria). Per maggiori informazioni è possibile rivolgersi a Gloria Conti al numero 338 8190262.

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