The Collective of the Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders

Press Release

10 Years Imprisonment for Two Moroccan Policemen Responsible for the Murder of "Hamdi Lembarki"

On June 20th, 2007, the Moroccan court in El Ayun, Western Sahara sentenced two Moroccan police agents responsible for the torture and murder of the Sahrawi citizen, Hamdi Lembarki at the night of 30th October, 2005 because of his participation in a peaceful protest demonstration calling for the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination and independence.

The trial of the Moroccan policemen, Hassan Rochdi and Abderrahim Elmssaoued was characterized by complete police control in order to ban the Sahrawi citizens from attending the trial sessions that lasted for more than 15 hours, and so the verdict was not sentenced until 01:30 on Thursday June 21, 2007.

The murder of Hamdi Lembarki represents a serious violation of the right to life, physical safety and personal security as well as the right to expression and gathering. The Moroccan policemen have misused their authority against the demonstrators calling for the Sahrawis' right to self-determination since May 21, 2005.
Therefore, the Sahrawi citizens have been handing out their complaints to the Moroccan Court in El Ayun, Western Sahara in order to look into their torture by Moroccan officials.

However, the CODESA notices a complete indifference of the Moroccan authorities towards the complaints handed out by some Sahrawi human rights defenders and many Sahrawi citizens, who were subjected to torture and inhuman ill-treatment, especially women and minor children.

The CODESA also expresses its concern about this kind of trials. The Moroccan Court of Appeal in Agadir, Morocco has already sentenced a Moroccan "gendarmerie" agent responsible for the torture and murder of the Sahrawi citizen, "Chwihi Slaiman" in 2005 in Guelmim, south of Morocco to 10 years' imprisonment. This verdict was cancelled in 2006 and the Moroccan agent was declared innocent.

 Thus, the CODESA insists on the Moroccan state's responsibility for the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Sahrawi citizens, and calls for the investigation in the alleged torture cases registered in the Moroccan courts.

The CODESA secretariat    
The Collective of the Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders
El Ayun, Western Sahara .
June 21, 2007.

Résumé du communiqué du CODESA par arso:

10 ans d'emprsonnement pour les 2 policiers responsables de la mort de Hamdi Lembarki
Le 20 juin le ptribunal d'El Ayoun a condamné à 10 ans de prison les 2 agents,  Hassan Rochdi et Abderrahim Elmssaoued, responsables de la mort de Hamdi Lembarki dans la nuit du 30 octobre 2005 dans le cadre d'une manifestation pacifique.