Western Sahara (POLISARIO)

Mission for UK & Ireland

19a Hormead Road
London W9 3NG
Tel/Fax: 020 89 64 52 11


Moroccan terror in Sahrawi Occupied territories must stop!


The Western Sahara Mission for UK and Ireland (POLISARIO Office) draw the attention of the British and the international communities to the 131 Sahrawis imprisoned by Morocco, who have been on unlimited hunger strike since December 25th, 2001 at the Lakíhal (black) prison in the Western Sahara occupied capital El Aaiun. 23 of the prisoners are political detainees who were arrested and detained without trial following demonstrations in El Aaiun and Smara organised last November to protest against the visit of the King of Morocco to the occupied territories. The situation of these political prisoners is deteriorating. So far, seven of them have already been taken to hospital, 25 others are presenting serious health problems but remain without care, and until now their families have been denied the right to visit them The Sahrawi hunger strikers have been forced to take such desparate measures as the only way to protest against the worsening incarceration conditions they face and the deliberate human rights abuses by the Moroccan authorities.

Mothers of the detainees have been demonstrating since 26 December in front of the Court of Appeal and the civil prison. Seventy of them gathered the 2nd of January in front of the governor's office in El Aaiun, demanding the immediate release of their sons, the hunger strikers. Anti-riots Moroccan forces intervened brutally and violently disperse them. 27 demonstrators were wounded.

This is taking place while POLISARIO and Sahrawi Government released 115 Moroccan Prisoners of War on January 2nd, 2002 as a gesture of goodwill on the occasion of the new year.

We call on the International community, the British opinion and in particular Her Majesty Government, the British parties, Human Rights Organisations, Trade Unions and NGOs to urgently intervene and press the Moroccan Government to release these prisoners. Morocco should also be asked to release the hundreds remaining Sahrawi Prisoners of War and political detainees imprisoned in Morocco and to put an end to the policy of terror carried out with impunity in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

Fadel Ismail

Head of Mission

London, Monday 07.01.2002

>> Unlimited Hunger Strike in El Ayoun's prison

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