Révolte des Sahraouis - Revolt of the Saharawis - Revuelta de los Saharauis

Report on the Abduction and Arrest of a Group of the Sahrawi Human Rights Activists on July 20, 2005


After the arrest of  the human rights activist and the symbol of national resistance, Ali Salem Tamek, on July 18, 2005 at the airport of El Ayun, the Moroccan state has abducted two Sahrawi   human rights activists in Casablanca and three others in El Ayun in its process of the ferocious campaign against the Sahrawi activists. This has the main objective of deforming their humanitarian work and frightening the Sahrazi citizens  after the break out of the peaceful demonstrations in the Moroccan occupied territories of the Westrn Sahara, southern Morocco and the university cities.

On July 20, 2005, the Moroccan authorities burst into the house of the Sahrawi human rights activist, former political prisoner and forcibly deportee to Morocco, , Mohamed Elmoutaoikil, at six o'clock GMT, arrested him together with the Sahrawi rights activist and former disappeared, Fdaili Gaoudi by a group of eight security agents from Casablanca, Morocco. The Sahrawi activists were interrogated for hours upon the Western Sahara issue, their opinions concerning the issue and concerning the peaceful demonstrations that took place in the Western Sahara.

Mouhamed Elmoutaoikil was interrogated by the Moroccan General and the Genral Security Director , Hamidou Laanigri personally, who tried to bribe him in order to give up his defence of the Sahrawis' right to self-determination, but the activist refused to change his convictions, which made the Moroccan General very angry.The  General ordered that Elmoutaouakil should be transported to El Ayun to contionue the interrogations together with Mohamed Fadel Gaoudi.

The interrogation of Mohamed Elmoutaouakil by a group of Moroccan security officers continued from 11 a.m. until 01 a.m. of the next day. Then both activists were transported to El Ayun at 04 a.m. in difficult conditions. They were eye banded and hand cuffed, put in a police car to be transported to El Ayun guarded by two other police cars. They reached El Ayun at 21:00 GMT to resume interrogations again together with the Sahrawi human rights activist Larbi Massoud . The Sahrawi activists Elhoucine Lidri and Brahim Noumria were found in a very critical state because of the torture hey went through in the PC CMI, Poste de  Commandement des Companies Mobiles d'Intervention, conducted by the Moroccan security services.

Before that and on the same day at exactly 10:20, the house of the Sahrawi activist, Fatma Ayache, was broken into by some eight secret security agents. The activist Brahim Noumria, Elhoucine Lidri and Larbi Massoud were taken to the Judicial Police center in 24 November street, then the Moroccan authorities kidnapped Brahim Noumria and Elhoucine Lidri who were hand cuffed and eye banded to the secret jail, PC CMI, where they stayed until July 21, 2005. They were severely tortured, hanged in the way that is called the "roasted chicken" for many hours, beaten on feet and other parts of the body by the agents who sprayed  an unknown liquid on their bodies and burned them with fire that left clear traces on their hands. As they were put down, they were forced to run in a serious situation while their eyes are banded. They were also savagely beaten on all parts of the body, tortured in the way called "Falaka" ( beaten while being tied up to a table), threatened of rape and deprived of sleep. All the interrogation period, the activists were eye banded and hand cuffed on the back.

On the next day, all the activists were transported to the public prosecution in the court of appeal in El Ayun. They unveiled the barbarous torture both Brahim Noumria and Elhoucine Lidri were subjected to and called for a medical check-up in the presence of the defence. The prosecutor ordered that they should go to hospital and prolonged their custody for more than 24 hours. It was exploited by the Moroccan investigators to break into the house of Noumria Brahim and fetch it all to take some books and releases in the same way that Mohamed Elmoutaoikil's house was broken into in Casablanca.

Elhoucine Lidri was taken to the PC CMI for a second time to be interrogated and savagely tortured, beaten, insulted while handcuffed and eye banded for long hours. He was tortured again in the way of "Falaka" and "the roasted chicken". Meanwhile, Mohamed Elmoutaoikil, was subjected to hard interrogations for more than 12 hours in the Judicial Police center in El Ayun supervised by the Wali of Security in El Ayun, Brahim Bensami, and a group of secret service members who had already interrogated the Sahrawi activists, Fdaili Gaoudi and Larbi Massoud without torturing them.

On July 23, 2005, the five activists were taken to the court of appeal without having a look at their "proces verbales" and they did not even know their accusations except the Sahrawi activist, Fdaili Gaoudi who signed his "proces verbales" after reading it.

They waited until 17:00 in the court of appeal in El Ayun when the prosecutor released Fdaili Gaoudi and sent the others to the judge of investigation.

The latter accused the activists of false charges. They insisted that they did not see their "process verbales" in the Judicial Police center and showed the severe torture they were subjected to especially Elhoucine Lidri and Brahim Noumria in the secret jail PCCMI in El Ayun. Then they were put in the Black Jail to continue the preliminary investigation.

The Sahrawi activists were subjected to different kinds of violations in the Judicial Police center in the custody such as sleeping and sitting on cold floor without any blankets,the activists' families were prohibited from giving food and blankets to their relatives. In the Black Jail, the prison administration tried to prevent them from seeing the Sahrawi activist, Ali Salem Tamek who was there two days before and tried also to separate them on different rooms in the prison and exercise pressure on them in their relation with the Sahrawi political  prisoners. They refused all that kind of pressure and spent the night in the room of visitors before they were transferred to a small 4 meters room that does not have the least healthy conditions.

The Sahrawi activists, who  were supported by a group of lawyers of the Agadir Body, called the lawyer of defence   to make a complaint of the torture they underwent on behalf of them to the public prosecutor, calling for medical check-up and the chastise of those responsible for the torture: the Wali of Security in El Ayun, Brahim Bensami, the Urban Security Group chief-officer Ichi Abou Hassan, the General Infrormation officer, Hassan Elghaffari , his assistant Abdelhaq Rabii, the Direction of Territorial Security, Mbarek Arsalan, and his assistant in El Ayun, Ahmed Salim, who tortured or supervised the torture of the Sahrawi activists, Elhoucine Lidri and Brahim Noumria in the secret jail, the PC CMI in El Ayun.

The Sahrawi political prisoners, the Sahrawi activists and Aminatou Haidar fear that the investigation continues in order to deceive the world that there is really a fair investigation in the affair. The activists insist that this is an illegal action taken by the Moroccan secret services and the Moroccan Justice Ministry in a kind of conspiracy to deform the activists' humanitarian work and prevent them from unveiling the flagrant violations of human rights perpetrated by the Moroccan state in the Western Sahara since October 31, 2005 and during the peaceful pro-independence demonstrations in the   few recent months.


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