Frontpage          About the Campaign          Support us          Contact us          Action Forum - MINURSO          Help us stop the theft     









The Western Sahara Campaign UK is a member of:




Amnesty launch URGENT ACTION in support of Aminatou Haidar
amnesty_logo_510.jpg

Amnesty International are calling on the Moroccan Authorities to allow the human rights defender to return home.
Printer version    
The Moroccan authorities confiscated Sahrawi human rights defender Aminatou Haidar’s passport on 13 November and expelled her from the country the following day, leaving her stranded in Lanzarote Airport, in Spain’s Canary Islands. She has been on hunger strike since 15 November in protest. Aminatou Haidar, who is 42 and has two children, was detained at Laayoune airport, Western Sahara on 13 November when she returned from a month-long trip, to countries including the USA, where she accepted the 2009 Civil Courage Prize, which is awarded every year "for steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk." She was questioned about why she had given her home as "Western Sahara" rather than "Moroccan Sahara" on her landing card; she was also asked about her travel, as well as her political opinions and affiliations. Her Moroccan passport and identity card were then confiscated and she was detained in the airport overnight. She said that on 14 November officials offered to release her in return for a public acknowledgement of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. She refused to do so, and a few hours later she was put on a flight to Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.

Aminatou Haidar has been on hunger strike since 15 November in protest. According to her family, she has grown quite weak; her health is at particular risk because she suffers from anaemia and a stomach ulcer. She is refusing to take her regular ulcer medication, as part of her hunger strike. Aminatou Haidar has rejected the possibility of obtaining refugee status in Spain, insisting on her right to return to Western Sahara. Without travel documents, Aminatou Haidar is effectively confined to Lanzarote. Her situation is further complicated by the fact that neither she, nor her family, can access her bank account. A source who has asked to remain anonymous has told her family that a high-ranking security agent instructed the bank to block her account.

Amnesty International believes that Aminatou Haidar’s expulsion and confiscation of her Moroccan identification document and passport are politically motivated and that she is being punished because of her stance on Western Sahara’s self-determination.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, French, English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to return Aminatou Haidar’s passport and identity card, and allow her to return to Western Sahara immediately and unconditionally;
Urging them to ensure that Aminatou Haidar’s access to her bank account is not blocked by the security forces.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 JANUARY 2010 TO:
King
Mohammed VI
Bureau de Sa Majesté le Roi
Palais Royal
Rabat, Maroc / Morocco        
Fax: +212 537 73 07 72
Salutation: Your Majesty



Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Taieb El Fassi Fihri
Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et de la Coopération
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt
Rabat, Maroc / Morocco        
Fax: +212 537 76 46 79
Email: mail@maec.gov.ma
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
President
Ahmed Herzenni
Human Rights Advisory Board        
Place Ach-Chouhada
Boîte Postale 1341
Rabat 10000, Maroc / Morocco        
Fax: +212 537 72 68 56
Email:         ccdh@ccdh.org.ma
Salutation: Dear Mr Herzenni
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information
For many years, Aminatou Haidar, President of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (Collectif des défenseurs sahraouis des droits de l’Homme, CODESA), has played a leading role in a number of campaigns organized for the release of Sahrawi prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, and in raising local and international awareness of human rights violations in Western Sahara. On 20 October she accepted the Civil Courage Prize, which includes an award of US$50,000, from the Train Foundation in New York City. In a telephone interview with Amnesty International on 3 December, Aminatou Haidar said: "I am determined to continue my struggle to defend human rights peacefully… This generation and children [in Western Sahara] witness with their own eyes the police oppression… Just imagine, many children, instead of drawing toys, they draw a policeman with a gun and a stick beating people... I am scared that they will become violent and incite violence."
A mother of two, Aminatou Haidar was secretly detained, without charge or trial, from 1987 to 1991. In 2005, she was sentenced to seven months in prison after an unfair trial, on charges arising from her alleged involvement in protests in Western Sahara. Before her arrest, she required hospital treatment for injuries she sustained when she was apparently assaulted by the security forces while she was on her way to join a demonstration in Laayoune.
The Moroccan authorities have little toleration for people who speak out in favour of self-determination for Western Sahara, which was Spanish territory until Morocco annexed it in 1975. They appear to be adopting an increasingly repressive approach to the activities of Sahrawi human rights defenders, in breach of their obligations under international human rights treaties, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and contrary to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Western Sahara is the subject of a territorial dispute between Morocco, which claims sovereignty, and the Polisario Front, which calls for an independent state in the territory and has set up a self-proclaimed government-in-exile in refugee camps in south-western Algeria.




    

Top
News:

26.06 - 2020 / 26.06 - 2020Support our latest action
08.06 - 2020 / 08.06 - 2020WSC Newsletter June 2020
09.02 - 2020 / 09.02 - 2020WSC Newsletter January 2020
23.01 - 2020 / 23.01 - 2020Civil Society raises concerns about UK-Morocco Trade
25.09 - 2019 / 25.09 - 2019WSCUK at Labour Conference
22.09 - 2019 / 22.09 - 2019About the Campaign
01.09 - 2019 / 01.09 - 2019WSC Newsletter July 2019
27.06 - 2019 / 27.06 - 2019Jeremy Corbyn joins WSC and Aminatou Haidar in parliament
18.06 - 2019 / 18.06 - 2019WSCUK hosting Aminatou Haidar
13.04 - 2019 / 13.04 - 2019TAKE ACTION!
08.04 - 2019 / 08.04 - 2019High Court confirms European court ruling on Western Sahara
09.03 - 2019 / 09.03 - 2019WSC Newsletter February 2019
25.10 - 2018 / 25.10 - 2018WSC Newsletter October 2018
13.10 - 2018 / 13.10 - 2018Open Letter to the UN Security Council
17.07 - 2018 / 17.07 - 2018WSC Newsletter July 2018
17.07 - 2018 / 17.07 - 2018WSC communication with the European External Action Service






wsclogo_245.jpg
WESTERN SAHARA CAMPAIGN UK
The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights. Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.

tn_map_ni.jpg

tn_western_sahara_2_camp.jpg



Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara


The EU pays Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara.