The CODESA Secretariat

The Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Activists

July 09th, 2007.


El Aaiun, Western Sahra : Arrests and Assaults of Minor Children

The CODESA is very concerned about the Moroccan repressive campaign against the Sahrawi people, especially minor children due to their participation at the peaceful demonstrations calling for the Sahrawi people's self-determination and independence.
These children have been arrested  at different places in El Aaiun, without their parents' awareness. When asking about their children, the Moroccan judicial police deny that they have any detainees. Then the parents resort to hospitals and the surroundings of the city, as it has become a custom that the detainees are thrown out at the outskirts.
The parents frequently hand out a complaint to the king prosecutor, describing their children's illegal detension, their police interrogation and their inhuman torture. Many of these minor have suffered psychological breakdown and life-lasting disabilities on the head, the ears and other sensitive parts of the body.
While these families are waiting for the court  investigation of the torture committed by the police, the latter is continuing to arrest more children everyday. These arrests have influenced their education : the police in civil clothes are inside the schools and outside controlling the educational institute, which led most of the students to leave school forever, or at   least change the school where they study to another one that is probably in another city.
The children talk about the torture they face  even inside the police vans and the continuous interrogation in order to obtain confessions from them. The child Lmaissi Abdennasser, who partly lost the sense of hearing, was tortured with his mother by the officials of the judicial police.
Most children were put in custody for periods ranging from 04 hours to 03 days before being sent to the Black Prison in El Aaiun. One of these minors was Mohamed Boutabbaa who was deprived from taking his end-of –the year exams. He is a student at the second year of the Junior High school.
The children are tortured, beaten, verbally abused and illtreated. Some of them were sprayed with dirty water and even human urine. Before being released, their families   have to sign a committment that their children will never participate in the peaceful protest demonstrations.
The CODESA has received a list of the minors who were detained, tortured   between 05 and 05 July 2007, taking into account that many families are still afraid to inform the HR organisations about their children's illtreatment :

1.Brahim Hallab
2.Laaroussi  Hilal
3.Salama Hallab
4.Nafea Baidi
5.Ennajem Faidal Elgarhi
6.Mohamed Sabrat
7.Kraitta Zain Elaabidine
8.Ahrim Tayeb
9.Mansour Elaamiri
10.Mohamed Chlouki
11.Essalek Hallab
12.Essalek Mnaissir