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Western Sahara

As PN went to press, 36 Sahrawi human rights activists in seven Moroccan jails were entering the fifth week of their hunger strikes in protest against their detention without trial.
The first wave of hunger strikes began on 18 March, with the first group (which includes Rachid Sghir, see PN 2520) suffering critical symptoms of medical deterioration as PN went to press. In December, “the Sahrawi Gandhi”, human rights activist Aminatou Haidar, fasted for a month in a successful protest at her deportation and exclusion from Western Sahara. Morocco has illegally occupied 80% of Western Sahara since 1975.
In a separate incident, on 7 April, Moroccan settlers attacked 11 Sahrawi human rights advocates at Layouune airport in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, beating and stripping them naked, apparently under orders from the Moroccan security services.
The “Sahrawi 11” had just landed at Layouune airport after a humanitarian visit to Sahrawi refugee camps over the border.
Protest (politely is more effective) to the Moroccan ambassador, H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, 49 Queens Gate Gardens, London SW7 5NE;
ambalondres@maec.gov.ma

Topics: Western Sahara