Révolte des Sahraouis - Revolt of the Saharawis - Revuelta de los Saharauis
El Ayun, Friday June 17th, 2005.
On the commemoration of the Intifada of Zemla which took place in 1970 in El Ayun the capital of the Western Sahara to demonstrate in Al Inaache district. At about 10:30, the demonstrators started chanting pro-independence slogans and call for the Sahrawis' right to independence. Just a few minutes later, different kinds of Moroccan forces arrived to Al Maghreb Al Arabi street where the sit-in was exactly taking place to repress the demonstration. Aboulhassan Ichi, the GUS, Urban Security Group, chief-officer was leading the violent intervention Many Sahrawi women and young people were injured, among whom was the handicapped Mohamed Haddi, about 16 years old. Bougarfa Abderrahman, 53 years old, was arrested by the Gus agents and is still in the police station.
In the evening, at about 19:45 another sit-in was organized by the Sahrawi citizens backed up with human rights activists, but the GUS agents led by Aboulhassan Ichi again interfered brutally to repress the participants in the sit-in. Some Sahrawi citizens were injured, but especially the activists were triggered. The following activists were wounded, some of them seriously injured:
1. Aminatou Haidar, an ex-Sahrawi kidnapped, was seriously beaten on the head with truncheons. Her head was sewed with 12 stitches in the head at the hospital.She was arrested at the hospital and is still in the police station in El Ayun.
2. Elhoucine Lidri, an ex-deportee from El Ayun to the middle of Morocco, was also beaten on all parts of the body, especially the head and back.The injury on the head was sewed with 4 stitches.His Derraa, the Sahrawi traditional male clothes, was torn out and all his property was stolen.
3. Fatma Ayachm an ex-Sahrawi kidnapped from 1987 to 1991 was also severely beaten on the thighs and head.
4.Two hours later, Hmad Hammad, an ex-Sahrawi kidnapped, was savagely tortured by many GUS agents, led by Aboulhassan Ichi again. He is in a very critical situation now.
5. Elhoucine Moutiq, a bureau member of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, El Ayun section, was also beaten by the Moroccan forces.
All these activists were subject to insult and verbal abuse.
In brief, the human rights activists are daily being harassed, intimidated and chased by the police and secret Moroccan agents.
>> photos of Aminatou Haidar