Report of the visit to Occupied Western Sahara, city of Laayoune, Agadir and Rabat, from 27th of

October to 7th of November 2014

Table of Contents

1. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..3
1.1 Legal Status of Western Sahara………………………………………………………………….4
2. Entering Western Sahara……………………………………………………………………………6
3. Court of Appeal, Laayoune: judicial process of Mr. Abdelmotalib Sarir, Mr. Mohamed Baber and Mr. Alyien Moussaoui (28th Oct 2014) and Court of Appeal, Agadir: judicial process of Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud (3rd Nov 2014)………………………7
4. Contact with families of Saharawi political prisoners……………………………………….8
5. Contact with former and current political prisoners ……………………………………….10
6. Discrimination against Saharawi prisoners…………………………………………………..11
7. Interviews with children……………………………………………………………………………12
8. Interviews with Saharawi NGOs and Human Rights Associations……………………14
9. Interviews with Saharawi Women………………………………………………………………15
10. Interviews with Saharawi journalists and media correspondents……………………..15
11. Interviews with young people (18 – 35) ……………………………………………………..16
12. Health care…………………………………………………………………………………………..16
13. Economic, social and cultural situation……………………………………………………..17
14. General Impressions of the City of Laayoune……………………………………………..17
15. MINURSO………………………………………………………………………18
16. One hour of “detainment” without justification………………………………………….. 18
17. Bus/train journey Laayoune – Agadir – Marrakesh – Rabat…………………………….19
18. Visitation rights of the Saharawi political prisoners in Sale 1, and health issues…20
19. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………..21

1. Introduction

Isabel  Lourenço member of Adala UK

My name is Isabel Maria Gonçalves da Silva Tavares Lourenço, I have Portuguese nationality, and am a member of Fundación Sahara Occidental and Adala UK.

I visited Western Sahara and Morocco with an accreditation of Fundación Sahara Occidental as international observer and with a mandate from Adala UK.

The goal of the visit was to attend as an international observer the judicial appeals of the Saharawi political prisoners Mr. Abdelmotalib Sarir, Mr. Mohamed Barber and Mr. Alyien Moussaoui on the 28th of October 2014 in Laayoune’s court of appeal, and that of Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud on 3rd of November 2014 in Agadir. A second goal was to observe the situation in Laayoune as well as talking to several Saharawi NGOs and families of political prisoners.

During the week of 28th October to 2nd November 2014 I stayed in Laayoune city and interviewed and contacted several Saharawi human rights associations, committees and activists as well associations for the defence of natural resources, the well-being of women and children and Saharawi media groups. I also visited the families of former and current political prisoners and interviewed several children that had been subjected to ill-treatment and torture by the Moroccan occupying forces.

During my whole visit I was continually followed by police and other representative of the Moroccan authorities, in uniform as well as in plain clothes. I was filmed and photographed and even detained for over one hour without any explanation, and my passport was repeatedly taken for long periods of time by the police officers.

On November 3rd I attended the trial of Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud in Agadir and met with Saharawi University Students.

From 4th to 7th November, I was in Rabat and tried to obtain visitation authorization to the 23 political prisoners detained in Sale and stayed at the house of the families of the prisoners.

The whole visit gave me an insight I did not have, and a very clear perspective of the current situation in Western Sahara and the general feeling of the population.

It is obvious that the occupation is only possible due to the huge presence of military, police and auxiliary forces and their brutal tactics, and also due to the fact that the international community is complicit with the silence about the occupation and the stalemate in the United Nations Security Council.

23 years after the ceasefire that was never broken by the Saharawi, who resist peacefully, the patience of the population is coming to an end and a peaceful and just solution must be implemented in the last African colony.

 

1.1 Legal Status of Western Sahara

In 1963 Western Sahara was listed as a non-self-governing territory by the United Nations. In 1966 the United Nations General Assembly adopted its first resolution[1] on the territory, urging Spain to organize, as soon as possible, a referendum under UN supervision on the territory’s right to exercise its right to self-determination. In 1975, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered an advisory opinion on the Western Sahara question, concluding by 14 votes to 2, that while there had been pre-colonial ties between the territory of Western Sahara and Morocco, these ties did not imply sovereignty.

Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonization of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory.[2]

Shortly thereafter, on 6 November, Morocco occupied and later annexed Western Sahara, through the famous “Green march”. This constituted an act of aggression in violation of the UN Charter. The same day, the UN Security Council, in Resolution 380, called upon Morocco “immediately to withdraw all the participants in the march.” Shortly thereafter, Morocco, Mauritania and the colonial power, Spain, entered into an agreement which in convoluted terms transferred the administration of the territory to Morocco and Mauritania. The agreement did not, however, transfer sovereignty explicitly. (Mauritania later rescinded and left the whole territory to Morocco.)

The people of Western Sahara (the Saharawis) have a right to self-determination, which can be fulfilled through the creation of a fully sovereign state, if they so choose. Under that principle, they also have the right to “freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources”.[3] The Moroccan occupation and annexation of the territory is a serious breach of International Law. Western Sahara is not a part of Morocco and Morocco has no legal title or claim on the territory. Morocco has an obligation to respect the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and to end its illegal annexation and occupation of Western Sahara.

.UN General Assembly 1966

“Invites the administering Power to determine at the earliest possible date, in conformity with the aspirations of the indigenous people of Spanish Sahara and in consultation with the Governments of Mauritania and Morocco and any other interested party, the procedures for the holding of a referendum under United Nations auspices with a view to enabling the indigenous population of the Territory to exercise freely its right to self-determination and, to this end:

To create a favorable climate for the referendum to be conducted on an entirely free, democratic and impartial basis, by permitting inter alia, the return of exiles to the Territory;

To take all necessary steps to ensure that only indigenous people of the Territory participate in the referendum;

To refrain from any action likely to delay the process of the decolonization of Spanish Sahara; …”

.UN-Security Council, 1975 (after the “Green March”)

“Call upon Morocco immediately to withdraw from the Territory of Western Sahara all the participants in the march; ….”

.UN Security Council, 1991

“Expresses its full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General for the organization and the supervision, by the United Nations in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity, of a referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in accordance with the objectives mentioned in this report; …”

 .UN-Security Council, 2013

“Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect, …”

2.Entering Western Sahara

bouzy_1404576124I arrived at Laayoune airport on October 27th at 17h40. I had taken the Royal Air Morocco plane from Lisbon to Casablanca and then to Laayoune. Although the plane had very few passengers I was given the last seat from Casablanca to Laayoune, which forced me to be the last passenger to exit the plane.

At the entrance I was asked what the purpose of my visit was and I explained that I was an international observer, accredited by Fundación Sahara Occidental to attend the judicial process of the three Saharawi political prisoners and showed the official on duty the accreditation.

The superior officers (without uniforms) where already waiting for me and I was told to wait and my passport was taken into a back room without further explanation. During over one hour I was asked the same questions over and over, what my profession was, who I knew in Laayoune, where I would stay, who would pick me up from the airport, if it was my first visit to Laayoune, why I want to go to Laayoune, if I knew anybody else on the plane, which languages I speak, my name, and then starting again from the beginning.

After about one hour, a man without uniform came with a mobile phone in his hand and told me to talk to the person on the other end. I told him I hadn’t called anyone and I would not talk to someone I didn’t know. He told me it was El Wali (governor) who wanted to welcome me to Laayoune. Mr. El Wali spoke in English and told me that I was welcome as a tourist but only as a tourist and that I was forbidden to go to any trial or anything else. I thanked him for his welcome and informed him that I was not a tourist that I was an international observer and that only the judge could tell me not to attend the trial, so Mr. El Wali had to chose to either let me enter Western Sahara so that I could present myself at 09h00 the next day at the court house or to refuse my entry which would mean that I would go to my embassy in Rabat.

He hung up after saying once again that I could enter but only as a tourist.

After another hour of being asked the same questions by different men, they gave me my passport, but at the same moment a young man in plain clothes entered and started to take pictures of me. I asked him to delete the photos but he laughed, so I asked the uniformed police officer to take his camera and delete the pictures but he said he could not do that since this was his superior.

My suitcase wasn’t in the airport according to the officers, although I had seen it on the conveyor belt, and I could only retrieve it three days later and another hour of interrogation.

After one hour of waiting I could get a taxi and was followed by two motorcycles (the same police in plain clothes that were at the airport all the time) to the hotel where two plain clothes policemen were waiting in the reception.

3.Court of Appeal, Laayoune: judicial process of Mr. Abdelmotalib Sarir, Mr. Mohamed Baber and Mr. Alyien Moussaoui (28th Oct 2014) and Court of Appeal, Agadir: judicial process of Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud (3rd Nov 2014).

accionAt 8h30 on 28th October, I presented myself at the court of appeal of Laayoune, accompanied by Mr. Hmad Hamad, vice-president of CODAPSO (Committee for the support to self-determination of Western Sahara) to attend the judicial process of the three Saharawi political prisoners. None of the evidence of the defence was admitted nor included by the Judge and no evidence of their guilt was presented. In the afternoon they were each sentenced to 10 months in prison. They all claimed to have been victims of torture, which they had already denounced before the judge of the first instance and also where these 3 prisoners in a group of 7 Saharawi political prisoners that were tortured in the court yard of the black jail of Laayoune on September 23rd 2014.  (For a detailed report on the trial see Annex I.)

At 9h00 on November 3rd, I presented myself in the court of appeal of Agadir, accompanied by my translator Miss Laila Fakhouri, to attend the judicial process of the Saharawi political prisoner Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud. None of the evidence of the defence was admitted nor included by the Judge and no evidence of his guilt was presented. In the afternoon he was sentenced to four years imprisonment.  (For a detailed report on the trial see Annex I.)

4.Contact with families of Saharawi political prisoners

Image from inside the black pression in El Aaiun the capital city of Western Sahara

During my entire stay in Laayoune I contacted as many families of Saharawi political prisoners as possible, in order to obtain information regarding their conditions in prison, their physical health and other problems.

Each family I visited or encountered in meetings had the same complaints with small variations. They all experience dire economic needs due to the incarceration of their husbands, sons and fathers who are, in most cases, the sole breadwinners.

But what affects the families the most is that they are accused of crimes they did not commit, that none of the accusations are ever proven and that evidence of their innocence is not admitted in court. Political prisoners are also subjected to ill-treatment, torture and periods of disappearance. Their family members are often themselves victims of harassment, children included.

Prison conditions are appalling as is well documented by numerous human rights organisations: food is scarce and beatings, humiliations and ill-treatment occur on a daily basis.

Often prisoners’ belongings are removed by the guards and they have to sleep without clothes or blankets.

The only group that is not currently subjected to this kind of treatment is the Gdeim Izik Group in Sale 1, due to international pressure, although medical attention is equally insufficient and their health status is alarming.

All families (including the ones of the Gdeim Izik Group) referred to the lack of or the inadequacy of health care; the administration of medicines that are not related to prisoners’ complaints and illnesses; as well as chronic illnesses. Neither the families nor the detainees or their attorneys are informed about the results of medical examinations, x-rays, scans, MRI, blood and urine tests.

All political prisoners demand to be seen and examined by independent international medical organisations in order to document the ill-treatment and torture they suffer.

The huge distances (over 1,000km) the families have to travel to visit the prisoners and the arbitrary transfer of prisoners from one prison to another without warning was another aspect mentioned by the families. Often family members arrive after a one or two day journey and are denied a visit. This denial has no basis it is totally arbitrary.

The prisoners depend on family visits as these provide them with money to buy food and other essential items they need. Without the food that is bought by the families malnutrition is a reality. Vitamins, protein and other deficiencies in the diet are another manifestation of their deteriorating health, as well as drinking of water that is not bottled (bottled water has to be bought by the prisoners). All prisoners complain about kidney disease, general pain in their backs (mostly due to torture), rheumatism (sleeping on floors without any clothes or blankets is a common punishment).

Mr. Abdeslam Lomadi (Ait Melloul Prison) and Mr. Brahim Daoudi (Inezegan prison) were diagnosed with tuberculosis; both are held in overcrowded cells without any medical treatment.

Mr. Abdejalil Laaroussi in Sale 1 prison suffers from extreme high blood pressure, epistaxis (nose bleeding), rectorragia (bleeding from the rectum), frequent loss of consciousness of up to 30 min and more.  (Annex II – blood pressure measurements and medical statement.)

Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud, in Ait Melloul Prison, was presented to the Agadir court of appeal on November 3rd and I could see how thin and fragile he was due to the constant ill-treatment he had been subjected to. Mr. Boukioud had been on hunger strike several times this year in protest against his situation and to demand the most basic rights. One of these  lasted for 67 days after which he was force-fed. He presented several complaints about the torture he suffered to the Moroccan authorities without any response (included in the report of his trial Annex II).

Mr. Mbarek Daoudi, detained in Sale, started a hunger strike on 1st November. He has serious heart problems, and has been waiting for a trial for over one year.

All families which I contacted had very similar testimonies. Their sons, brothers and husbands are peaceful political activists who defend the right to self-determination of Western Sahara and participate in peaceful demonstrations.

Political prisoners are almost always accused of the same crimes: obstruction of public streets, damaging public property, arson, throwing stones. Sentences vary from 10 months to life imprisonment. Even when there is concrete proof that the accused where not in the city where the alleged crimes took place, the evidence is not admitted or taken into account by the judge and the general attorney of the king. The accusations and sentences are always based on testimonies obtained under torture or “testimonies” of a third party that is not present at the trial (as was the case of Mr. Abdallahi Boukioud’s trial that I witnessed on November 3rd). Documents and confessions are often “signed” with a fingerprint although all Saharawi political prisoners can read and write.

5.Contact with former and current political prisoners

During my stay I talked to over 20 former political prisoners, both men and women. Some of them had been in Meguna secret prison for over 12 years. Their testimonies of torture, long periods of total isolation, humiliations, starving, constant beatings and lack of basic hygiene were extremely shocking.

Reports about prison conditions and torture are similar in all reports; methods of torture include:

  • ‘Airplane’ – Victims are forced to bend over while standing with their legs straight. The person’s head is bent down until it cannot go down any further, while the hands are pulled up and held up to the highest point. The hips have to point upwards.
  • Beatings
  • Burning with cigarettes
  • Chemical burns
  • Chemical inhalation
  • Removal of finger and toe nails
  • Light deprivation
  • Pretend Drowning
  • Electrocution
  • Flagellation
  • Whipping of feet
  • Force -feeding
  • Hanging by the feet
  • Mutilation
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Roasted Chicken – victim is suspended from a pole or spit
  • Sodomy with sharp objects such as broken bottles, iron rods, legs of chairs
  • Solitary confinement
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Starvation
  • Strappado/squassation (also known as reverse hanging and Palestinian hanging
  • Stress positions
  • Sweden drink – ingestion of urine and faeces
  • Ta’liq – hanging from a metal bar
  • Waterboarding

These torture methods are reported not only by former political prisoners, they also frequently feature in the reports of observers of trials where prisoners denounce torture and demand medical expertise; however, these claims are never investigated by the judge.

Other prisoners with whom I could speak over the phone also confirmed these methods of torture.

Torture is on-going and is used to obtain confessions but also to “subdue” and “re-educate” Saharawi political prisoners.

 

6.Discrimination against Saharawi prisoners

Image from inside the black pression in El Aaiun the capital city of Western Sahara

Saharawi prisoners that are not political prisoners also suffer from discrimination, torture and abuses.

Mr. Mgaimima Brahim Jalil was released in the beginning of 2014 after 10 years in prison. During his trial, evidence was presented by the defence that Mr. Mgaimima Brahim Jalil had a problem with his foot which made it impossible for him to have committed the actions he was accused of and which were never proven. During his 10 years of incarceration he was repeatedly tortured and was on hunger strike for 366 days during which he was force fed on several occasions. Each time he was told that the accusations would be dropped, but he was sentenced to 10 years and a huge fine. He was moved around several prisons, first the Black Jail of Laayoune, then Ait Melloul where he spent 20 days in total isolation in a 1.5m x 2m cell without ventilation or light, with a hole in the middle  to use as a toilet. He could receive visitors once a month for ten minutes.

He was humiliated by the prison guards on a daily basis, which also encouraged other inmates to mistreat him.

In 2008, he was transferred to Tiznit prison and everything started again, including torture, ill-treatment and 28 days of solitary confinement. He went on hunger strike several times but the conditions did not improve.

In Ait Melloul and Tiznit the cells he was in were approximately 7m x 5m with 44 beds for 96 to 100 prisoners. There were two holes in the floor to be used as “toilets” and one bucket for rubbish. Prisoners stay inside these cells for 12-14 hours per day.

Mr. Brahim Jalil suffers from several diseases, his vesicle was removed and after his release he underwent several exams and was told that he only had one kidney. He protested and said that that was not possible and after a further examination the second kidney was “found” – it was smaller than a marble.

Mr. Brahim Jalil would like to undergo independent medical examinations that can prove everything he told me. He also declared that he would continue to defend the right to self-determination of Western Sahara in a peaceful manner.

He has filed complaints to the National Council of Human Rights of Morocco and to the Ministry of Justice.

I have singled out this interview, not only because of the long incarceration periods but also, because Mr. Jalil has passed through different prisons. The interviews with other ex-prisoners and ex-political prisoners and family members of the current prisoners confirm all of this information.

 7.Interviews with children

image of Mahmoud El Mousaoui 15 yers old was  victim of Violence  the Moroccan police violence,

I spoke to all children I met and in general asked them the same questions, i.e. if they liked school, which their favourite subjects were, what they liked to play, in the case of the boys who their favourite football player was, if they slept well, if they ate well, if they had difficulties focusing, if they liked to play in the street, what they would like to be when they are older, what their typical school day was like.

Children in public schools generally said they did not like school, because they are beaten, called ‘dirty saharawis’, and humiliated by the teachers and employees. Each Monday morning they are forced to sing the Moroccan national anthem and recite the pledge to the “green march”. If they refuse or make a mistake they are beaten. They are not allowed to speak their mother tongue “Hassania” in school, nor can they draw the flag of the RASD.

During the breaks, there is a lot of violence in the school yard without the staff intervening. Police officers in plain clothes are also present in the school yards every day. They threaten Saharawi children with rape and sexually assault the girls.

Two of the children talked about these sexual abuses, but said that they would never tell anyone and that the policemen knew that. It is a very big taboo and children are told that the family will suffer if they talked about it.

The children do not sleep well, they have nightmares, and are afraid to be “taken in the night”. They have difficulty focusing and suffer from incontinence. Several of them say they “freeze” when they see a police van. Police vans surround schools and police officers harass Saharawi students when they leave school.

Two of the boys I interviewed were severely beaten and tortured by the police. Both were beaten in the middle of the street without apparent reason. One of them had a broken jaw from the kicks he received and the other had a broken arm.

Labat, 8 years old, was playing in the street with two friends on a Saturday afternoon when a police car with 5 agents stopped near them. His friends run away but he “froze”.  He was severely beaten and kicked, his jaw broke and he drew a lot of blood from his mouth. He was in pain and very afraid as he had heard the driver of the police car say: “beat him until he is dead!“

They left him in the middle of the street and a neighbour brought him to his mother. He had to wait 15 days to be treated in hospital because it took the family that long to raise the money. He has severe headaches, is always afraid and has tried to kill himself by jumping out the window. His mother does not know what to do. She has presented official complaints to the authorities.

Mahmoud (13) was coming home from school when 4 police cars stopped. The agents got out and started beating him. His sister (12) heard him and came running but the police threw stones at her. He was beaten senseless with a bar, hands and batons as well as being kicked. When he could no longer move they dragged him off his feet and threw him to the floor repeatedly. He then put his arm to protect his head and they broke his arm. Eventually they left him in the street.

Mahmoud was “operated” twice. The first time the doctor put a metal plate in his arm but it had to be removed again. The second “operation” was the removal of the metal plate without any anaesthesia or painkiller. The doctors opened his arm with a knife and took out the metal plate. “I only saw blood and it hurt horribly” said Mahmoud.

During the time he was beaten the police agents insulted him and said that his mother was a ‘Saharawi whore’, his father a ‘Saharawi pig’ and other insults.

Adala UK will soon present a detailed report on the cases of Saharawi children that are subjected to abduction, arbitrary detention, ill-treatments and torture.

8.Interviews with Saharawi NGOs and Human Rights Associations

During my stay in the city of Laayoune, I contacted several Human Rights Associations and other NGOs as well as a Human Rights Association from the city of Smara.

Their reports and information confirm what is already known through reports of organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Robert Kennedy Foundation and other International NGOs, as well as the last report of Mr. Christopher Ross, special envoy for Western Sahara of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and Mr. Juan Mendez, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture.

Since the beginning of this year, there has been an increase in repression and brutality by the occupying Moroccan authorities. All peaceful demonstrations are brutally dismantled. The streets are “swept” and houses invaded and destroyed. Human rights activists are tortured in the desert and abandoned there and Saharawi journalists and correspondents are being “hunted down”.

Daily life is made impossible for the activists who are continually stopped by the police .

The international press does not enter Western Sahara and the expulsion of foreigners is considered normal. Human rights activists and NGOs are declared persona non grata and expelled or banned from entering. Natural resources continue to be plundered and environmental protection does not exist.

Saharawis do not have access to jobs. Those who worked for instance for Fos Bucraa during the Spanish occupation were replaced by Moroccans as soon as they had acquired the necessary skills and Saharawis were forced to retire.

Saharawi land ownership is not respected by the Moroccan authorities who help foreign companies to occupy land by force and expel the families that live there. Recently, a family was expelled from their land by force by the Moroccan authorities so that a French company could install electric powerlines.

All associations, NGOs and activists see no other solution than the urgent implementation of the referendum. In their view, the situation is unsustainable, daily life is like living in the biggest prison of the world.

 9.Interviews with Saharawi Women

photo-by-adalauk-membresSaharawi women are extremely well-respected in their society and enjoy equal rights to men. A large number of them are leaders of NGOs and other social and human rights associations. Like all Saharawis in the occupied territories they also suffer from the political, social and economic apartheid.

Their participation in demonstrations and the peaceful movement for self-determination is enormous, in spite of the beatings, humiliations and daily aggressions they are subjected to by the Moroccan authorities.

Several women I interviewed had also been imprisoned for over 12 years. They were subjected to all kind of torture (as previously mentioned) and two of them had miscarriages due to torture and during the torture process.

 10.Interviews with Saharawi journalists and media correspondents

Mahmoud Lhaisan

The three media groups I met – RASD TV; Equipo Media and the Saharawi Centre for Media and Communication – all reported the same problems.

Freedom of press does not exist in Western Sahara. Journalists, correspondents, cameramen/women and photographers are often detained, mistreated, beaten, tortured, abducted and detained.

Mr. Mahmoud El Haisen, journalist at RASD TV, was detained after producing a short documentary about police repression after the Algerian team’s football match during the world cup this year. His trial was scheduled for the 19th November but was postponed again to 10th December. He has presented several complaints to the Moroccan authorities and CNDH concerning torture. He also has serious health problems.

Journalists must take photographs secretly and do their work “undercover”.

All of the journalists also informed me that foreign journalists are not allowed to enter Western Sahara by the Moroccan authorities unless they represent their “official” version.

 11.Interviews with young people (18 – 35)

Ayub GarmattAll young people I talked to, both in Occupied Western Sahara as well as Saharawi students in Agadir, experience the same feelings of exclusion, harassment, and lack of opportunities.

They do not accept the Moroccan occupation and although they are at the moment pursuing peaceful resistance, they will not accept the continuance of the present stalemate in the negotiations for much longer. For them, self-determination is clearly the only solution.

Jobs are not available to them. In order to study at university they have to leave Western Sahara as there are no universities there; however, as Saharawi students they are discriminated by their university professors.

 12.Health Care

All Saharawis gave me the same answers regarding health care in Western Sahara. It hardly exists for Saharawis. There are only Moroccan doctors, Saharawi doctors are not allowed to practice.

Saharawis only go to hospital in situations of extreme necessity, not only because treatment has to be paid for or obtained with bribes, but also because they do not trust in the doctors. There are many reports of injections that are given to every Saharawi that goes to hospital, regardless of their medical condition, and nobody knows what kind of injections they receive.

It is also normal practice to have an x-ray each time you go to hospital. This excessive use of x-rays is well-known. Moreover, family members are told to be in the x-ray room, without any protection, to “secure” the patient, so that they are also exposed during the process.

It is common for Saharawi patients to be “abducted” from hospital by police agents and taken to the police station.

To access better medical care, Saharawis have to leave Western Sahara and visit specialists, either in Morocco or Spain; however, these have to be paid for privately.

 13.Economic, social and cultural situation

It is no exaggeration to talk about an economic, social and political apartheid in Western Sahara. Job opportunities are not available to Saharawis, unless they “proclaim their loyalty” to the Moroccan King and the occupation.

Saharawis depend mostly on a type of unemployment benefit, according to Moroccan law, that is insignificant and that is taken away if they are labelled as “independence activists”. This is another way to put pressure on and threaten the Saharawi population.

Saharawi culture is not accepted although the Moroccan constitution states that it defends multiculturalism and the use of Hassania, the Saharawi language.

The names of all Saharawis were changed after the occupation. Not only the order of family names was altered but also the first names. So when you ask someone his/her name it is common to be asked ‘my real name or my Moroccan name?’ The goal of this is clearly to alter the Spanish name registers and create one more obstacle for a census as well as for the property register.

The Saharawis have for centuries been camel owners and herders. To pursue this activity it is necessary to follow the camels in the desert and live in tents. The Moroccan government forbids tents and surveys the desert constantly with helicopters. People who have a tent are fined or beaten and then fined.

There are several reports of Moroccan authorities shooting entire herds of camels. Camels that are shot cannot be eaten as the meat would not be halal and is therefore left to rott away in the desert.

Saharawis affirm their identity through their traditional clothing (daraa for the men and melfas for the women). The wear them with pride and also as a symbol of resistance.

14.General Impressions of the City of Laayoune

Uniformed and plain clothes Moroccan police and auxiliary forces Image by AdalaUK membres

The city of Laayoune has a climate of constant surveillance. There is a large presence of police, military and other authorities which is very intimidating.

There are clear differences between Saharawi and non-Saharawi neighbourhoods, also related to their economic status. There are entire neighbourhoods under construction in order to attract more Moroccan settlers.

To enter or exit Laayoune one has to pass several “check points”.

Moroccan flags are displayed along the streets and buildings, all shops display an image of the Moroccan King. The huge presence of flags is in no relation to any Moroccan city I visited and it is clearly a political statement, and an affirmation of the occupation.

Laayoune is a city under siege.

15.MINURSO

descargaThere is a massive presence of MINURSO in the streets and hotels. When I say in the streets I’m referring to white SUV’s with Minurso identification, Minurso soldiers are not in the streets. All major Hotels of El Aaiun are full of Minurso employees and soldiers. In my hotel I was the only “not-Minurso” guest. Moroccan police and “iron” protection grids surround the MINURSO headquarters.

The presence of MINURSO has no impact in the respect of human rights at all. They cruise the city and the beaches. Their presence is perceived by the Saharauis as useless and another sign of disrespect of the international community towards them. I’ve heard from several saharauis: “they are only here to have a good holiday. They go to the beach and have a good time, live in good hotels and have nice meals and big cars”.

One of the employees in the hotel addressed them directly once and told them: “you are nice people but you are not helping us, you can leave no one will miss you”.

 16.Detained for one hour without justification

On 1st November, the vice-president of CODAPSO Hmad Hamad, two other CODAPSO members, Abiay Abdelaziz and Lehueidi Mahmud, and I were on the way to Fum Lawad beach when we were detained at a check point as we were leaving Laayoune.

A plain clothes police officer approached our car and demanded to see our passports. The Saharawis did not hand over any documents, saying that they did not recognize Moroccan sovereignty over them. Hmad Hamad said to one of policeman ‘You know us and you know exactly who we are. We are activists and we want self-determination, everybody knows that.’

The policeman asked them to get out of the car and we all did, apart from the CODAPSO vice-president who said that they would have to get him out by force. The other two were taken to the police post and a policeman told me in French to sit down, pointing at a chair in the middle of the sun, full of ants, insect excrements so I did not sit down.

The chief police officer of Wifak district, Laayoune, Estyu, turned around and shouted insults at me in Arabic and things like ‘Moroccan Sahara is Moroccan and always will be’, for about 40 minutes, he was extremely aggressive. After one hour, the other two came out of the office again and said we could leave. I told them I needed my passport back and wanted an apology for shouting at me and intimidating me.

The whole time we were there, photographs were taken of us and we were filmed.

We were surrounded by five vans with plain clothes police. As we were leaving, we were followed by even more cars, only to arrive at another post, where my passport was again taken away for 15 minutes.

After that, we were followed by cars, motorbikes and a four by four, on all sides. When we arrived at the beach, more uniformed and plain cothes police officers where waiting for us. They followed us for the whole hour we spent at the beach. When we returned to the city, we were followed again, just like every day the previous week.

17.Bus/train journey Laayoune – Agadir – Marrakesh – Rabat

I travelled from Laayoune to Agadir on the night from 2nd to 3rd November by bus, leaving at 21h00 and arriving at 07h30.

I planned to make the exact same trip by bus and train which the prisoners’ families have to make to visit them (from Laayoune to Ait Melloul, Tiznit, Inzegan, Rabat) to see exactly how long and how difficult the journey is.

As I arrived at the bus station, I was informed by the staff that two policemen in plain clothes where already there to accompany me. All of the other passengers had warned me that the police had come for me.

During the trip I had to get off the bus at every check point, police station and gendarmerie post in order to identify myself, answer the same questions over and over again, and hand over my passport more than ten times.

I was always the only person to be “investigated”; no other passenger had to get off the bus or identify themselves.

The two police officers in plain clothes were seated in front of me and even followed me to the bathroom. Yet, they never addressed me.

In Agadir I went straight to the courthouse and attended the trial of Mr. Boukioud.  During lunch I met with Saharawi students. In the afternoon I took a bus to Marrakesh and from there the train to Rabat where I arrived at 23h00.

 18.Visitation rights of the Saharawi political prisoners in Sale 1, Rabat and health issues

Adala UK had asked for an authorization to visit all political prisoners in Sale 1 prison in Rabat. After several faxes and e-mails that were sent over several weeks and never answered, as well as several phone calls with the general administration for penitentiary and reintegration, we decided that as soon as I arrived at Rabat I should go there in person and find out why we couldn’t get an answer.

On the morning of the 4th November, I went to the General Administration for Penitentiary and Reintegration, and presented a copy of the correspondence asking to meet with the responsible official.

After one hour of waiting at the reception desk, the lady informed me that I should present a complaint, that would be answered in one or two months. I explained that I would not present any complaint but wished to talk with someone responsible since I would be leaving the country shortly.

After another two and a half hours, I was received by a lady on the second floor of the building, who told me she was given authorization to inform me that the prisoners Adala UK asked to visit were under direct jurisdiction of the Minister of Justice, since their trials were in the “court of cassation” and therefore only the Minister of Justice himself could grant authorization to visit these prisoners. I informed Mrs. Lysan that we already sent several letters to the Minister of Justice but that we never received an answer, if she could please give me some kind of direct e-mail contact. She told me that she could not help me.

In Rabat, I stayed in the apartment that the families of political prisoners rent to stay there during their visits. The apartment, which has 3 rooms and one small kitchen, has no bathroom (there is a communal bathroom in the hall of the building), no hot water, the windows are broken and there is almost no furniture.

The families tried to rent a better apartment but no one wants to rent anything to them and even in this building, the owners already tried to terminate the lease several times.

Rents are high and it is another cost for the families. The presence of family members is necessary not only to visit the prisoners but also to buy them food and other necessities that have to be delivered to prison.

 19.Conclusions

In my opinion, action needs to be taken urgently in order to enable a visit of the Red Cross or another independent medical group to all Saharawi prisoners in order to examine them and provide medical expertise to confirm their claims of torture and identify the grave illnesses they suffer.

The judicial processes are illegal and the liberation of all political prisoners should be immediate since there are no evidence to confirm the crimes they are accused of.

The United Nations Security Council should urgently include a mechanism to monitor human rights in Western Sahara. One year after this, a census should have been completed and the referendum put in place.

The international community cannot continue to make commercial and other agreements that include Western Sahara, with the occupying country, all agreements should be denounced until the realisation of the referendum.

The International community has all tools at its disposal to assure a peaceful solution and the decolonization of Western Sahara, as has been possible in the case of East Timor.

There are no violations of any agreements or the cease fire on the part of the Saharawis. They have been waiting peacefully for a solution and their trust in the international community cannot be betrayed.

 

Isabel Maria Gonçalves da Silva Tavares Lourenço

Lisbon, 20th November 2014

[1] UN General Assembly, 1966, Resolution 2229 (XXI).

[2] ICJ Reports, 1975, p. 68, para. 162.

[3] Common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 

Anext1

Protected: Medical report of Mr. Laaroussi, saharawi political prisoner

My name is Raabub Mohamed Lamin Mehdi, I am Medical Specialist in Internal Medicine, I perform the function of deputy in Osakidetza (Servicio Vasco de Salud), Collegiate number: 011 304 807, of Spanish nationality , ID number 06287946E

Through this letter I want to express my concern with the health of the patient Sidi Abdejalil Laaroussi, prisoner number 78608, Saharawi political prisoner, detained in prison Salé1, Rabat in Morocco, that has conveyed to me his situation

  • Personal history:
  • Apparently healthy, sporty and non-smoking, married with 2 children, had no complaints prior to his arrest.
  • After his arrest he was tortured on several occasions, these torture includes violent blows throughout the body, legs and knees causing rupture of ligaments, inhalation of chemicals causing problems to his eyes, blows in the lumbar area, was for more than 4 days naked blindfolded and handcuffed, forced to sleep on his own excrement, suspended from a wooden beam, received electric shocks, his hair was pulled out, repeatedly sexually molested, constantly threatened with the rape of his wife amongst other threats.

Since then presents a clinical picture characterized by anal pain, rectorragia (bleeding from the rectum), abdominal pain and incontinence to defecate.

On the other hand describes constante headache, irritability, tachycardia, abdominal and thoracic pain and initially sporadic and lately blood pressure with alarming map values, ​​in recent days considered a hypertensive emergency and must be treated immediately in hospital.

States that they made several analyzes, and one of the results was sent to a laboratory in France, and several imaging without ever transmitting the diagnosis to Mr. Laaroussi or deliver medical reports or tests results to himself, his family or lawyer.

States that when he did a colonoscopy, the medical staff asked if he had been raped with an object and told him that he had to be operated to treat the incontinence.

Mr. Laaroussi states that on one occasion that he was led to make imaging exam, at the clinic along with radiologist was the prison doctor. They made a imaging and from the description I believe that it was a CT scan or an abdominal MRI, they told him he had nothing ……… he threatened that he would present a complaint, and then was told : well, in this exam it is visible (I understand by what you told me the patient) that the left adrenal gland is increased in size.

With all the data that the patient transmits I can get to the likely conclusion (and likely conclusion because I can’t count on exams or reports, nor objective examinations of the patient for several reasons (and one of the main reasons is the impediments of local authorities):

.- All kinds of exams were made to this patient to reach diagnostic conclusions that were never transmitted to the patient

.- This patient probably presented rectorragia and currently presents anal sphincter incontinence as a result of torture suffered in the form of rape, confirmed by colonoscopy, since according to the patient the endoscopist asked him (if he was violated with an object) that means that this patient needs to be examined and treated urgently (we are talking about a patient who is 36 years old)

.- From the symptoms that the patient told me and the possible results of imaging studies (which the patient described to me verbally) it is urgent to discard a secondary hypertension, in a patient so young my first suspicion is that the case of one or at least rule out a pheochromocytoma which I will now describe

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal medulla, the clinical manifestations are the result of excessive secretion of catecholamines in particular hypertension

bloodpresure (1)

 

SYMPTOMS:

. headache sweating, tachycardia, nervousness and irritability, weight loss, abdominal and chest pain, epistaxis (bleeding from the nose)

DIAGNOSIS:

Measuring of the levels of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism or (degradation products) in the blood and urine (mandelic acid, vanillylmandelic) for 24 hours, and the levels of metanephrine in the urine preferably after a hypertensive attack.

Computed tomography of the abdomen

MRI of the abdomen

Gammagraphy with MIBG

The treatment consists of removing the tumor with surgery. Before the intervention, it is important to stabilize blood pressure and pulse rate with medication, and it is possible that hospitalization is required with close monitoring of vital signs.

After surgery, it is necessary to perform a continuous control of all vital signs in an intensive care unit. When the tumor cannot be removed surgically, medication to deal with it is necessary. This usually requires a combination of medications to control the effects of excess hormones. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are not effective for the cure of this tumor type.

Taking into account all this information I ask the European authorities and the World Health Organization to act in order to save a life and to see the case of this patient, one of many Saharawi political prisoners in situations of weak and / or dangerous health; health is a fundamental right, patent in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Article 25.  The World Health Organization, organizations and institutions must work effectively to ensure it’s exercise in its own right.

Sincerely,

 

Dra. Raabub Mohamed Lamin Mehdi

raabubsaharamedical@gmail.com

Anext 2:

informe de juicio de apelacion de El Aiun.

por Isabel Miembro de La fundacion del sahara Occidental y Adala UK

Observadores internacionales:

 Inés Miranda

Dolores Travieso Darias

Isabel Lourenço – Fundación Sahara Occidental

Acusaciones:

Pertenecer a banda armada

Daños en la propiedad pública

Disturbios

Obstrucción de la vía publica

Agresión a las fuerzas de Seguridad

Esta Misión de Observación está formada por Isabel Lourenço y Hmad Hammad, ambos acreditados por la Fundación Sahara Occidental. La misión llega al Tribunal de Apelación de El Aaiun a las 8:30 h. Sin que nadie les pregunte o indique nada, entran en la Sala donde ya estaban la familias de los 3 presos políticos saharauis.

Sobre las 9:00 horas, llega un funcionario del Tribunal con los documentos del Procurador General del rey. Mientras, en la sala contigua, se empieza a escuchar las consignas a favor de la independencia de los presos políticos saharaui (Labadil Labadil Antakrir al Massir y otras frases alusivas a la independencia del Sahara occidental.

A las 9:15 llegan los abogados de la defensa, así como el resto de observadores internacionales. Y comienza el juicio. Entran los presos ataviados con ropa tradicional saharaui (daraa) y cantando consignas a favor del Sahara libre.

Tras la identificación de los acusados y de los abogados de la defensa, el Juez lee los artículos de la Ley y de la constitución marroquí que supuestamente han violado. Resulta complicado para esta misión de observación, escuchar lo que dice el juez ya que los micrófonos no están activos.

Las intervenciones de los acusados fueron las siguientes:

Sr. Abdelmotalib Sarir: “Soy activista por la independencia del Sahara Occidental, defiendo la RASD. Nunca he practicado acto violentos. Nuestras madres y nuestros hijos son torturados en medio de la calle en nuestro país ocupado… Somos pacifistas no cometemos actos violentos…” Cuando el juez repite las mismas acusaciones que al principio y acusa a Sarir de agredir a un policía, este replica: “Estas acusaciones son venganza, ustedes quieren condenarnos por que somos activistas por los derechos humanos. Somos presos políticos y ustedes lo saben, no somos criminales y vamos a seguir luchando por nuestro país aunque nos maten. ¡¡hagan lo que quieran!!”. Siempre participé en las manifestaciones pacificas y voy seguir participando, la autodeterminación es la única solución para el Sahara Occidental.

Sr. Mohamed Baber: “nos acusan de tener armas blancas y eso no es verdad… Yo estuve en una sentada pacífica y no tengo nada que ver con esas acusaciones”. El juez le reprocha que tiene firmada una confesión; a lo que Baber afirma con rotundidad que la firmó bajo tortura. Cuando el juez le pregunta que donde estaba el día de los crímenes, Baber responde que estaba en Nadoor y Fez y que tiene los billetes del autobús como prueba.

Sr. Alyien Moussaui: comienza su intervención diciendo que el día y la hora de los supuestos crímenes, él estaba trabajando en la empresa de limpieza y que tienes testigos de ello.

Las intervenciones de los abogados de la defensa fueron en el siguiente sentido:

Sr. Aboukhaled Mohamed empieza diciendo que no hay pruebas suficientes y, por tanto, los tres presos políticos saharauis han sido detenidos sin prueba alguna y sin cometer ningún delito. Además, los tres acusados han sido torturados y las acusaciones las han firmado bajo esas torturas. Afirma que cuando fueron presentados ante el Juez de Instrucción, tenían señales de dichas torturas y que las enseñaron al Juez instructor y que en esa instrucción ya hablaron de las torturas y de cómo les habían hecho firmar las declaraciones. El abogado de la defensa afirma, por tanto, que los informes son falsos, los registros no se realizaron correctamente y no se ha respetado la ley para con estos presos. Así explica que Mohamed Baber fue detenido en su casa sin orden de detención; igual que no llevaban orden para coger cosas de su domicilio sin ningún tipo de orden. Alyien Moussaoui fue detenido en la calle. Pasaron varios días hasta que su madre consiguió saber quien lo había detenido y donde lo habían llevado. Y termina la defensa diciendo que la ley marroquí no permite y sanciona las detenciones arbitrarias. Abdelmotalib Sarir denunció que fue violado y necesita ir a un medico. Pedimos informe médico de los tres para demostrar que han sido víctimas de torturas para conseguir una declaración. Pido justicia para estos jóvenes y la liberación inmediata.

Sr. Mohamed El Habib Erguibi: El Sr. Juez debe defender la verdad y en todos estos informes policiales no hay pruebas, no hay nada para acusar a estos jóvenes de actos criminales. Este jóvenes están aquí porque han participado en manifestaciones por la inclusión de derechos humanos en el mandato de MINURSO, miles de saharauis han participado en estas manifestaciones. Y ese es el verdadero motivo de la detención de estos tres jóvenes. Todas las confesiones, como han denunciado los detenidos, fueran obtenidas bajo tortura; cuando fueron llevados antes el Juez instructor ya explicaron donde estaban cada uno el día de los hechos pero nada de eso se ha escrito en los informes de la policía o del juzgado de instrucción. Esos informes no están correctos ni completos. Por tanto, pido la liberación inmediata de estos presos.

Sr. Bazaid Lehmad: desde un principio han negado la participación en dichos actos. Son pacifistas, activistas de derechos humanos. No son criminales. Ellos siempre están en las manifestaciones pacificas, estas acusaciones son una venganza. El Sr. Moussaoui estaba en su trabajo y hay testigos, incluido su jefe. El Sr. Baber estaba fuera en Nadoor y Fez. Estas acusaciones que el juez lee aquí con falsas; no han enseñado ni una sola prueba de dichas acusaciones. Y han conseguido las acusaciones firmadas bajo tortura. Estos jóvenes tienen que ser liberados ya.

Sr. Mohamed Fadel Lili: en el Juzgado de Primera Instancia fueron acusados de lo mismo que ahora y, ni antes ni ahora, han presentado pruebas. Cómo es posible acusar y condenar a personas de actos que no han cometido?. Estos acusados han sido detenidos por venganza porque son activistas y participan en manifestaciones, como han reconocido aquí y ese es el tema. Esto es una cuestión política. En los informes no hay nada de lo que declararon en el Tribunal de Primera Instancia, donde desde un principio dijeron que son inocentes y que fueron torturados. Estos informes que nos presentan aquí con falsos. El Sr. Baber declaró que participó en una sentada pacífica, ¿dónde está la ley que prohíbe la participación en una sentada?. El inspector de instrucción declaró que había un policía herido, pues que traigan a ese señor para que de su testimonio; pero, en realidad no hay testimonio, por eso no lo presentan. Igualmente, los policías que dicen ser atacados, dicen, igualmente, que no reconocen a nadie. Entonces, por qué han elegido a estos tres jóvenes?. Su único crimen es la libertad de expresión, ¿por qué no dicen eso en sus informes?

Tras este juicio, los Sres. Sarir y Moussaui, salen de la Sala. El Sr. Mohamed Baber se queda pues tiene otra acusación.

El juez identifica de nuevo Mohamed Baber y a los abogados de defensa. Las acusaciones son las mismas que en anterior proceso.

El Sr. Mohamed Baber repite lo dicho anteriormente: “soy inocente, he confesado bajo tortura y aquí mismo, en este edificio, fui torturado también”.

El abogado de la defensa, Sr. Mohamed Fadel Lili, toma la palabra para decir que las acusaciones son falsas, “Mohamed Baber ha negado todo ante del juez de instrucción y tenía, en la mano izquierda, señales de las torturas recibidas, que denunció ante este tribunal en la instrucción. Y, aún así, está aquí sin pruebas. Y, es más, por el contrario sí hay pruebas de su inocencia. Por tanto, pido su liberación inmediata”.

El resto de los abogados de la defensa dicen que hacen suyas las palabras de Mohamed Fadel Lili.

Mohamed Baber sale de la sala de tribunal cantando eslóganes a favor de la independencia.

Condenas:

Mohamed Baber – 10 meses (de la segunda acusación fue exculpado).

Abdelmotalib Sarir – 10 meses.

Aliyen Moussaoui – 10 meses.

Isabel Lourenço

El Aaiún 28 de Octubre 2014

 

 

Informe del juicio de apelación en Agadir 3 de Noviembre 2014

Acusado:

Abdallahi Boukioud

Fecha de nacimiento 14-06-1985

Fecha de detención 11-05-2014

Cárcel Negra de El Aaiun

Abogado de defensa:

Benjulol El Makhtar

Observadora internacional:

 Isabel Lourenço – Fundación Sahara Occidental

Acusaciones:

Pertenecer a un grupo de bando armado

Daños de propiedad publica

Disturbios

Obstrucción de la vía publica

Causar heridas a funcionarios públicos

Esta misión de observación estaba formada por Isabel Lourenço, acreditada por la Fundación Sahara Occidental. La Sra. Laila Fakhouri actuó con traductora.

La misión de observación llega al Tribunal de Apelación de Agadir a las 8:30 y entran directamente en la sala 2 de dicho Tribunal.

A las 9:00, el juez empieza a leer los número de procesos (más de 30) aunque la mayoría son aplazados.

Seguidamente se hace una pausa para que se presenten los presos y, en ese momento, un policía dice a los miembros de esta misión que no podían estar sentadas donde estaban porque era un lugar sólo para hombres. A lo que la Sra. Lourenço contestó que no había lugares para hombres y para mujeres y que, como los micrófonos no estaban funcionando y necesitaba traducción, tenía que estar detrás de los abogados para poder escuchar bien como se desarrollaba el proceso.

Cuando llega el turno del preso político saharaui, Sr. Abdallahi Boukioud, este entra con ropa tradicional saharaui (Daraa) y turbante. Se le ve muy debilitado.

El juez identifica al acusado, al abogado de defensa y lee las acusaciones, así como los artículos de la ley y de la constitución marroquí que, según las acusaciones, han sido violados. Los micrófonos estaban apagados por lo que resulta complicado escuchar lo que dice el juez.

El abogado de la defensa, Sr. Benjulol El Makhtar, pide que se presente ante el Tribunal el video de que hablan las acusaciones para probar que Abdallahi Boukioud no está en el video. El juez informa que el Sr. Boukioud fue identificado por un tal Mustafa Erguibi, que confesó que Boukioud es culpable de destrucción de coches. Pide que se presente como prueba el video y se presente al testigo Mustafa Erguibi para escuchar su testimonio.

Cuando toma la palabra el Sr. Abdelkahi Boukioud, niega conocer a Mustafa Erguibi. Dice que no estaba en el sitio donde se cometieron los hechos (Assa) porque estaba trabajando para el Sr. Lafdil Laaroussi en el Aaiun y tiene testigos.

El Juez no autoriza ninguna prueba ni testimonio.

Condena:

Abdallahi Boukioud – 4 años.

CONCLUSIONES DE LAS DOS SESIONES DE JUICIO CONTRA PRESOS POLÍTICOS SAHARAUIS

 1- El juicio de El Aaiun es nulo de pleno derecho, y contraviene el artículo 10 de la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos, una vez que Marruecos tiene falta de soberanía y jurisdicción sobre el Sáhara Occidental y su población, como dictaminó en 29 de enero de 2002 el Consejo Jurídico de Naciones Unidas, concluyendo que “El acuerdo de Madrid de 14 de noviembre de 1975 no transfirió la soberanía sobre el territorio, ni confirió a ninguno de los signatarios la condición de Potencia Administradora, condición que España, por sí sola, no podía haber transmitido”.

Por lo tanto, como establece la Sala de lo Penal de la Audiencia Nacional de España (potencia administradora del territorio “de Iure”), en resolución de fecha 4 de julio de 2014 “si por la legalidad internacional un territorio no puede ser considerado marroquí, tampoco puede aceptarse su jurisdicción”.

 2- En cuanto respecto a la Administración de Justicia, a pesar de las normas de los instrumentos internacionales de derechos humanos y, a pesar de  disponer de una  maquinaria judicial competente y bien dotada, no se tiene en cuenta en el pronunciamiento judicial el derecho vigente, vulnerándose en la sede judicial y en dependencias e instituciones judiciales y policiales el derecho de la población saharaui.

3- Como han constatado esta misión, y otras misiones anteriores, en la práctica, la fase de averiguación previa del delito se ha convertido en la parte dominante y decisiva en el proceso penal, contaminando éste de forma grave e irremediable. El sistema de acusación y administración  de la justicia, con relación a pruebas que hayan podido obtenerse ilegalmente es muy deficiente. Ha sido una realidad constatada por esta Misión, la obtención de pruebas mediante detenciones ilegales,  y otros métodos violentos.

La violación grave del derecho de defensa, impidiendo tanto en fase instructora como de plenario, en sede judicial, la practica de pruebas exculpatorias, es signo evidente de que el juicio es un instrumento al servicio de los poderes del estado, para la represión ilegal de la población saharaui. No solo, impidiendo la práctica de declaraciones como la del testigo Sr. Lafdil Laaroussi, sino impidiendo a la defensa la contradicción en fase de plenario de las pruebas propuestas por el Procurador del rey, con el fin de constatar su veracidad. El tribunal no basa su sentencia en las pruebas obrantes en autos, sino en el atestado policial, realizado sin las debidas garantías, (torturas)

4- La celebración de las vistas orales son señaladas después de meses de haber transcurrido los hechos, mediante la indebida prolongación de la detención en dependencias policiales y penitenciarias, en la mayoría de los casos vistos, mediante torturas u otras formas de coacción física y psicológica, suspendiendo los juicios y manteniendo a los internos a una prisión preventiva contraria  a las convenciones internacionales.

5- Las garantías de un debido proceso legal y una correcta administración de justicia en la fase instructora, no se han dado, puesto que los expedientes judiciales y  la fase de juicio oral,  se ha visto gravemente afectada por injerencias y presiones de otros poderes  públicos, a la luz del resultado del fallo judicial con la condena. Habiendo constatado esta Misión por ello, la inexistencia de una justicia imparcial e independiente en el juicio.

6- La Misión de observación, como otras anteriores,  ha constatado numerosos vicios en el procedimiento que debieran haber provocado nulidad de pleno derecho, desde la fase instructora, en concreto y siempre a la luz del Derecho que se aplica en el Territorio:

 

  1. a) La falta constatada de pruebas de cargo presentadas  por parte del Procurador General del rey y por parte del Juzgado de Instrucción, que no ejercieron su función de garante de la legalidad, vulnerando el principio de la tutela  judicial efectiva (vigente en su sistema penal) y de presunción de inocencia, aceptando las declaraciones policiales.

 

  1. b) Ausencia de identificación del detenido con pruebas inculpatorias en la propia fase instructora; ello significa que son detenidos arbitrariamente y  por el hecho de su condición de saharauis, siendo detenidos donde se les encuentra.

 

  1. c) Vulneración del derecho de defensa, mediante una negación sistemática a la práctica de pruebas exculpatorias, tanto en fase instructora como en fase de plenario, impidiendo de facto poder demostrar la inocencia.

 

  1. d) Ausencia de letrados en las detenciones, en las sedes policiales y judiciales.

 

  1. e) Ausencia de comunicación a los familiares de los detenidos.

 

  1. f) Utilización de métodos policiales violentos, torturas y coacciones físicas para la obtención de las confesiones de autoría.

 

7- No existió presencia de organismos internacionales, a excepción de esta Misión, en el juicio celebrado, y en especial hubo ausencia del organismo de naciones unidas para el conflicto (MINURSO), la cual no participó en las sesiones del juicio a pesar de que el encausado, forman parte de censo electoral elaborado por este organismo, y el juicio tiene el contenido de reivindicación de los derechos de autodeterminación que tienen los saharauis, y que defiende este organismo.

8- Se constata por la Misión que la acusaciones y los procesos enmascaran la vulneración de los derechos de libertad de expresión, conciencia, reunión y asociación, en el territorio del Sahara Occidental, pendiente de descolonización por Naciones Unidas, y de la celebración de un referéndum de autodeterminación del pueblo Saharaui, por la expresión de opiniones políticas y  que se realizan en el ejercicio de los derechos civiles reconocidos por los tratados internacionales suscritos por Marruecos.  Los delitos comunes por los que son acusados y condenados los reos saharauis, esconden la represión brutal contra las manifestaciones publicas contrarias a la ocupación marroquí de su territorio alegando el derecho de autodeterminación del pueblo saharaui, reconocido por todos los organismos internacionales. La detención, torturas y condena, así como su estancia en prisión de los manifestantes saharauis,  responde a la política decidida y sistemática de represión de los activistas políticos que mantiene el Reino de Marruecos en el territorio del Sahara Occidental, como método eficiente de minimizar el movimiento creciente de la población saharaui de reivindicar el derecho de autodeterminación reconocido por Naciones Unidas, defendiendo que se respeten sus derechos.

9- El estado de terror que refieren los testimonio vulneran, además del derecho penal marroquí que, contraviniendo la legalidad internacional, le es aplicado a los habitantes del Sahara Occidental, los convenios internacionales suscritos por Marruecos como son la Convención Internacional sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de Discriminación Racial (1966), los Pactos Internacionales de Derechos Civiles y Políticos y de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (1966), y el Convenio sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de Discriminación contra la mujer (1979),  el Convenio para la Prevención y la Sanción del Delito de Genocidio y un delito de torturas, (Ratificado por Marruecos en 1950) .

10- Esta Fundación considera precisa la inmediata intervención de la comunidad internacional, la MINURSO, y el Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos, para que procedan a la detención y puesta a disposición de las mismas, de los agentes que ejercen la represión, en el territorio del Sahara Occidental, contra la población civil.

11- Solicitamos al Reino de Marruecos, al amparo del artículo 147 del IV Convenio de Ginebra, (“Las infracciones graves a las que se refiere el artículo anterior son las que implican uno cualquiera de los actos siguientes, si se cometen contra personas o bienes protegidos por el Convenio: el homicidio intencional, la tortura o los tratos inhumanos…”) investigar y perseguir la tortura de los ciudadanos saharauis, en todas sus instancias, policial y judicial y exija  responsabilidades de todo orden a las autoridades carcelarias, penitenciarias, policiales y judiciales por las condiciones que desarrollan de represión contra la población saharaui, en le territorio ocupado y en Marruecos.

12- Debe fomentarse el envío de Misiones de Observación a los juicios políticos contra la población saharaui, resultando de extraordinaria urgencia, y realizar  la supervisión y “monitorización” de la situación de los Derechos Humanos, y su respeto,  por parte de observadores internacionales en el Sáhara Occidental . Esta contribución de la comunidad internacional, es necesaria y debe intensificarse ante la ola de represión que se ejerce desde Mayo de 2005, contra la población civil saharaui  indefensa.

 

Isabel Lourenço

Agadir 3 de Noviembre 2014

Anexos:

 

  1. Documentos de la primera fase del proceso judicial con las acusaciones contra el Sr. Mr. Boukioud. Entre ellos sus “confesiones”, dos de ellas firmadas con huela a pesar que el Sr. Boukioud sabe escribir y leer, el ha declarado varias veces que fue forzado a firmar bajo tortura. En este documento también se queda claro que el Sr. Boukioud ha ultrapasado el tiempo limite previsto en la ley antes de ser presente a un juez. El Sr. Boukioud estuve mas de 20 días “en observación”.

Doc 1 Boukioud.pdf

 

  1. Recibo de CNDH (Consejo Nacional de Derechos Humanos) de la queja presentada por el Sr. Boukioud en el departamento regional de Tantan de CNDH.

Doc 2 Boukioud.jpg

 

  • Queja y apelo presentado por el hermano del Sr. Boukioud al CNDH (Consejo Nacional de Derechos Humanos) – departamento regional de El Aaiun.

Doc 3 Boukioud.jpg

 

  1. Recibo de la CNDH de la queja y apelo presentado por el hermano del Sr. Boukioud al CNDH (Consejo Nacional de Derechos Humanos)  – departamento regional de El Aaiun.

Doc 4 Boukioud.jpg

 

  1. Informe del Comité Saharaui para la Defensa de Derechos Humanos de Guelmim, denunciando las violaciones en el proceso judicial del Sr. Boukioud

 

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