The CODESA secretariat

El Ayun, Western Sahara,

June 22nd, 2007.

An Urgent Appeal

"We shouldn't forget the Sahrawi refugees' misery"

Concentrating on the International Day of Refugees that the world celebrates on June 20th every year in order to highlight the refugees' problems and issues worldwide,

Bearing in mind the hard conditions that the Sahrawi refugees are enduring in locations where the simplest basic necessities are missing,

And  stressing the fact that this misery has long lasted for more than 32 years, resulting in the Sahrawi families' splitting that aggravated their suffering because of lack of nourishment goods, medicines, and decent housing as well as the shortage of study and education opportunities,

And as the serious lack of human donations that the international organizations offer to the Sahrawi refugees,

The CODESA, the Collective of Sahrawi human Rights Defenders, while appreciating the great role that many countries and human rights organizations play in helping the Sahrawi refugees, it is calling the international community again to move quickly in order to:

1.    Stop the Sahrawi refugees' misery, being children, women or elderly, and help them to come back to their own country and live in dignity.
2.    Call the World Food Program, the international and regional organizations to offer all the necessary donations in order to avoid any human catastrophe (as it happened in 2006.)
3.    Appeal the United Nations, which is supervising the negotiations between the Polisarion Front and the kingdom of Morocco, to take all the necessary measures  to protect the Sahrawi refugees in the camps and all the Sahrawi citizens in the occupied territories  from any suffering that may be a result of  the recurrent delays to find a free, fair and permanent solution for the Western Sahara issue.

The CODESA secretariat

El Ayun, Western Sahara.

June 22, 2007.

An Arbitrary detention and fake trial to some Sahrawi citizens

1.    Arbitrary detension to a Sahrawi teenager in El Ayun, Western Sahara

On June 21st, 2007, the Moroccan Court of Appeal   in El Ayun, Western Sahara gave its order to arrest the Sahrawi teenager, Mohamed Boutabbaa, and put him in the Black Prison in El Ayun, Western Sahara. This teenager was arrested by the Moroccan police on June 16th, 2007 because of his participation in a peaceful protest demonstration in Maatallah district, in which the demonstrators called for the Sahrawi people right to self-determination and brandishing the Polisario Front flags.
Since his arrest, he was subject to interrogation at the judicial police center in El Ayun. His family says that he was tortured because of his participation in the protest demonstration and to  know  where  the camera used to  take pictures of the demonstration, had been hidden.

2.    A fake trial to Sahrawi citizens in Tantan, south of Morocco:

On June 19th, 2007, the Instance court in Tantan, south of Morocco illegally sentenced both Sahrawi citizens, Lafquir Lahcen, 26 years old, and Hmadnah Mohamed Salem Alamine, 35 years old, to three months´ imprisonment.
The trial was characterized by complete police control to the court by different repressive forces that banned the Sahrawi citizens from attending the trial, lacking the necessary conditions, especially the presence of a defence lawyer.
Despite the fact that the Moroccan court tried to accuse them of different charges, Lafquir Lahcen and Hmadnah Mohamed Salem Alamine streesed the real reason for their arrest, which is their participation in the peaceful demonstrations on May 20th, 2007 in Ain Arrahma neighbourhood in Tantan. The demonstrations called for the Sahrawi people´s right to self-determination and independence.
Lafquir Lahcen had been arrested on July 18th, 2005 in Tantan by the Moroccan authorities and was sentenced to a year and a half imprisonment in the local prison of Inezegane, Morocco. He was released on January 15th, 2007.