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Western Sahara

On 21 October, Aminatou Haidar, 42, known as the “Sahrawi Gandhi”, won the Civil Courage Prize, awarded to individuals who have demonstrated steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk.
“This prize gives me the courage to pursue the nonviolent struggle that I have been leading since I was 23,” Haidar said after receiving the award in New York from The Train Foundation along with a cheque for $50,000.
Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975.
To mark the anniversary of the international court of justice’s ruling on Western Sahara’s right to self-determination, a Sahrawi Olympic athlete, Sahal Hmatou Amaidane, 26, ran around Parliament Square, Westminster, 34 times on 13 October: once for each year that the ruling has been ignored by Morocco.
Amaidane then went on to win the Wimbledon Audi 10km road race on 18 October. He said: “I came to the UK to support the charity Sandblast and their efforts to campaign for the annual Saharamarathon in the camps [next staged in February 2010]. It gives British the chance to see how my people have to live”.
On 20 October, campaigners vigilled at Camden Lock, London, calling for the immediate release of seven prominent Sahrawi human rights activists arrested in Casablanca, Morocco, and now possibly facing death sentences.

Topics: Western Sahara