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Proces tegen 14 Saharaanse politieke gevangenen begonnen

24-11-2005

Zuid-Marokko: massagraven van 41 Saharaanse verdwenenen 'ontdekt'

Op 22 november is in El Aaiun (bezet West-Sahara) het proces begonnen tegen 14 Saharaanse politieke gevangenen, onder wie 7 vooraanstaande mensenrechtenactivisten die al lange tijd slachtoffer zijn van vervolging door de Marokkaanse autoriteiten. Allen hadden zich tijdens vreedzame betogingen en in verklaringen geuit ten gunste van zelfbeschikking en onafhankelijkheid van West-Sahara.
De rechtbank was omsingeld door leger- en politie-eenheden, Saharaanse burgers en ook familie werden op afstand gehouden. Enkele buitenlandse media, en een drietal Spaanse advokaten slaagden er wel in de rechtszaal binnen te komen. Onder de aanwezigen in de rechtszaal bevonden zich verder talloze politieagenten in burger.
Mohamed Tahlil verklaarde tijdens de zitting de bevoegdheid van het hof niet te erkennen. “Ik erken deze rechtbank niet, noch dit land. Wij zijn Saharanen. Jullie zijn dictators. Leve het Front Polisario.” Vervolgens werd hij weggevoerd en daarbij geslagen. Allen wezen de tegen hen ingebrachte beschuldigingen (vorming van een criminele bende) van de hand en typeerden die als gefabriceerd en verzonnen. De advocaat van Aminatou Haidar verklaarde dat zij gemarteld was tijdens haar gevangenschap, waarvan de gevolgen via foto’s op internet te zien zijn.
De rechtbank weigerde voorwaardelijke vrijlating waarom de verdediging gevraagd had. Het hof verdaagde het proces naar 30 november.Sedert juli 2005 wordt een internationale campagne gevoerd voor de vrijlating van Aminatu Haidar en alle Saharaanse politieke gevangenen. De Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara heeft aan de vooravond van het nieuwe proces tegen Saharaanse mensenrechtenverdedigers de Nederlandse regering, Tweede Kamer, politieke partijen en mensenrechten- en vredesorganisaties in Nederland dringend opgeroepen:

- de Marokkaanse repressie in bezet West-Sahara scherp te veroordelen;
- waarnemers te sturen naar het proces;
- de onmiddellijke vrijlating te eisen van alle Saharaanse politieke gevangenen.

Achtergrondinformatie

Sedert mei 2005 zijn tientallen Saharanen opgepakt en werden veroordeeld tot gevangenisstraffen variërend van enkele maanden tot 20 jaar. Zo veroordeelde het gerechtshof van El Aaiun bij uitspraken op 28 juni en 12 juli 2005 in totaal 15 activisten en demonstranten tot een gezamenlijke gevangenisstraf van 88 (acht-en-tachtig) jaar.
Onder de veertien Saharanen die nu berecht worden, bevinden zich zeven van de meest vooraanstaande verdedigers van mensenrechten en van de rechten van de Saharaanse bevolking in het algemeen.
Aminatou Haidar (vrouw) - geb. 1966, gearresteerd 18 juni 2005 bij het ziekenhuis van El Aaiun, op 17-6 op straat in elkaar geslagen door de GUS; eerder langdurig ontvoerd geweest (zie haar relaas hierover in bijlage 2 onderaan dit bericht);
Ali Salem Tamek - geb. 1973, gearresteerd 18 juli 2005, bij aankomst vanuit Europa op het vliegveld van El Aaiun; 3 keer eerder gearresteerd en veroordeeld tot gevangenisstraf;
Brahim Noumria - geb. 1965, gearresteerd 20 juli 2005, in El Aaiun, zwaar gemarteld tijdens verhoor; 5 keer ontvoerd geweest vanaf 1983, ontmoette in januari 2002 een delegatie van het Europese Parlement in El Aaiun;
Larbi Mesaoud - geb. 1966, gearresteerd 20 juli 2005, in El Aaiun;
Sidi Ahmed el Moussaoui - geb. 1981, gearresteerd 31 juli 2005, bij demonstratie in Foum El Oued;
Houcine Lidri - geb. 1970, gearresteerd 20 juli 2005 in El Aaiun, zwaar gemarteld tijdens verhoor;
Hmad Hammad - geb. 1960, gearresteerd 9 augustus 2005 in El Aaiun; in 1997 ontvoerd en gemarteld, in 1990 tevergeefs politiek asiel gevraagd bij Spaanse ambassade in Rabat, in juli 2005 toevlucht gezocht tot Spaans Cultureel Centrum (Casa d'Espana) in El Aaiun waaruit de Marokkaanse politie hem met geweld heeft verwijderd.

Amnesty International heeft dit jaar al diverse keren haar bezorgdheid geuit omtrent de aanhoudende berichten over illegale detentie van mensenrechtenactivisten, over mishandelingen en martelingen tijdens detentie. Zie bij voorbeeld de persverklaring van 1 augustus 2005 en die van 22 juni 2005.
Op 12 september j.l. startte de Nederlandse afdeling van AI een bliksemactie omtrent de beschuldigingen van marteling en detentie van Saharaanse mensenrechtenverdedigers. “Amnesty International denkt […] dat zij zijn gearresteerd, gemarteld en vervolgd omdat ze verslag hebben gedaan van de recente mensenrechtenschendingen of vanwege hun standpunten ten gunste van onafhankelijkheid van de Westelijke Sahara.”

Anderzijds hebben recentelijk de Marokkaanse autoriteiten via de in januari 2004 door haar gecreëerde Instance Equité et Reconciliation (Instantie voor Rechtvaardigheid en Verzoening) bekend gemaakt dat in Zuid-Marokko graven zijn “ontdekt” van personen die zijn overleden in illegale detentiecentra in Agdez, Kalat Megouna en Tagounit. Onder hen bevinden zich 41 Saharanen (namenlijst als bijlage, aan het einde van dit bericht).
Mohamed VI formuleert de doelstelling van de IER als volgt: Marokko verzoenen met zijn verleden. Dit verleden - de zogenoemde jaren van lood- is echter nooit voorbij gegaan in West-Sahara. het is de dagelijkse realiteit.
En dan nu deze “ontdekking” – na onderzoek, aldus IER, ter plaatse en verklaringen van lokale functionarissen. De graven zouden zich bevinden in een niet-toegankelijk, afgescheiden gedeelte van de reguliere begraafplaatsen. De bekendmaking vermeldt echter niets over de oorzaken van overlijden, over het regime in deze illegale detentiecentra, over degenen die schuldig waren aan het mensonterende lot dat de gevangenen daar trof.
Over het lot van honderden andere Saharaanse verdwenenen is niets bekend.

Er zijn enkelen die een periode van verdwijning overleefd hebben. Onder hen bevindt zich Aminatu Haidar – die nu, opnieuw, politiek gevangene is en nu terecht staat vanwege haar mening en politieke overtuiging - dat West-Sahara zelfbeschikking moet kennen en recht heeft op onafhankelijkheid. Voor haar aangrijpende relaas over de verdwijning tijdens de jaren 1987 tot 1991, zie bijgaande document. Overigens hebben leden van het Europees Parlement haar voorgedragen voor de Sakharov prijs 2005.

Over alle gebeurtenissen en processen sedert het begin van de volksopstand in mei 2005: http://www.arso.org/intifada2005e.htm

Bijlagen:
1. Verklaring van Aminatu Haidar over de mishandeling tijdens haar arrestatie en de omstandigheden in de Zwarte Gevangenis van El Aaiun.
2. Verklaring van Aminatu Haidar over haar verdwijning tussen 1987 en 1991.
3. Lijst van personen, slachtoffers van illegale detentie, wiens graven ontdekt zijn.

bijlage 1

VERKLARING AMINATU HAIDAR

"From my cell in the black Prison in the occupied city of El Aaiun, I try to tell you the circumstances of my abduction at nigh in front of the emergencies of the hospital "Hassan Ben Mehdi" and about the torture I underwent with other Saharawi activists in the middle of the street by Moroccan repressive elements under the direct command of the following torturers:

- Abou Hasan Ichi: Commander of the Groups of Urban Security (GUS).
- Abdellah Abhiri: Commander-in-chief of the fast forces of intervention.
- Hamid Bahri: vice-prefect of El Aaiun, person in charge for the department of security.
- Mustafa Maaza: Pasha and vice-prefect of the Governor of Aaiun.
- Ahmed Salim: provincial chief of DST (direction of the territorial surveillance).
- Bucreicha Moulud: police chief of DST.
- Drunk-Aabeid Karrab: Kaid, a high official in the Makhzen in charge for the Wilaya of Aaiun.
- Maati Mudrik: Commander of Moroccan police in Aaiun.

In June 17, 2005, at 19:30 GMT, with a group of Saharawi activists, I was preparing for a peaceful demonstration in Smara Avenue aiming at denouncing the flagrant violations of human rights, perpetrated by the Moroccan repressive corps against Saharawi citizens during the Intifada of independence which started on May 21, 2005. The police forces: GUS, CMI and auxiliary forces cruelly intervened against the demonstrators. The above mentioned high officers moved towards us, and without introduction, they started beating us savagely. They tortured us wildly, our wounds were so serious that each one of us was completely covered with its blood.
My companions Lidri Husein and Fatma Ayach, also suffered from serious wounds on the level of their heads and on other parts of their bodies. In addition, we were subjected to insults, vexations, humiliations and ill treatments.
Our companion, Saharawi human rights defender (ex-disappeared), Hmad Hammad, was informed of the situation, he came and took us in his car to the emergencies of the hospital, he was preoccupied about us because we had lost much blood and were unconscious. I was informed after that, that he was arrested by agents of the GUS and the CMI, who tortured him without pity and in public in front of the hospital. He is currently in a serious state.
At the hospital, I had 10 stitches in the head, my companion Lidri had four. We were examined but the doctors refused to deliver us medical certificates. That was the same case with all the victims of the INTIFADA. It should be noted that inside the hospital was full with police agents and the outside surrounded by police forces: GUS and agents of the secret service, which prohibited the entry to Saharawis who came to support us.
At the exit of the emergencies of the hospital at 23:30 GMT, agents of the criminal police and members of the GUS led by their respective chiefs Hamid Bahri and Abou Husein Ichi, arrested me and took me to the central police station in Smara Avenue.
In 18/06/2005, they transferred me to another police station, in the "November 24" street. Agents of the criminal police and agents of other repressive corps, such as the royal gendarmerie, DST, military intelligence and secret service, proceeded to my interrogation.
At 19:30 GMT of June 19, 2005, they forced me to accompany several agents of various security corpses to the seat of Saharawi Association of the Victims of the serious violations of the human rights perpetrated by the Moroccan State in Western Sahara. They ransacked the seat of the association, breaking the door, they confiscated placards, photos and the archive of this association. They then questioned me about all the confiscated material and on the activities of the association.
In June 20, 2005, 13:00 GMT, they presented me before of the Attorney General of the Court of Appeal of El Aaiun, deploying considerable measures of security.
He decided my transfer to the black Prison, to present me before of the examining magistrate, charging me of many allegations that have nothing to do with the truth.
In the presence of my lawyer, Erguibi Lehbib, I did not sign the declarations, I denied all the charges, in addition I asked for the opening of an investigation on the torture to which I was subjected like my companions and deposited a complaint against the persons accountable for these crimes, while expressing my determination to defend the inalienable right of my people to self-determination and independence in conformity with United Nations and Security Council resolutions.
Currently, I share a cell with prisoners of common right, under precarious sanitary conditions, I am extremely suffering, because of the deep wounds in my head and my back, on which I already had a surgical operation (L 4) at the level of the column during the year 1992, few time after I was released with other disappeared in June 1991.
I also have health problems in my stomach and heart, and I suffer from haemorrhoids and rheumatism.
I asked for medical care for my wounds on several occasions, the administration of the black Prison refuses to answer my claims. And this situation reminds me of the 3 years and half disappearance I went through between 1987 and 1991.
This prison does not apply for the minimal conditions a penitentiary institution should provide for. We do not have right to daily visits, to radio nor to reading (press, newspapers....). We do not have the right to the minimum basic food, drugs and other personal needs. Finally, I would like to recall you that I am a mother to two children.
I was arrested before in November 21, 1987 in El Aaiun by Moroccan torturers: Aalabuch, Saleh Zemrag, Brahim Ben Sami, Ben Hima, Esanhaji, Ahriz Laarbi, Eromi Ayad, Etaifi, Abou Hasan Ichi, Lehliui Bachir, Abd El Hak Rabii, and Mohamed Elgaruani, whereas a technical delegation of the United Nations was in visit in the Sahara Occidental. I was unable to continue my studies, the Moroccan authorities refused to give me a passport during the last 17 years. Because of my determination to defend my opinions, my political position and my activities with regards to the defence of human rights the Moroccan administration deprived me of my salary knowing that I used to work as an employee in the town of Boujdour.

bijlage 2

AMINATOU HAIDAR'S TESTIMONY ON HER DISAPPEARANCE

El Ayoun 12/12/2002

I am a young Saharawi, former disappeared, my name is AMINATOU ALI AHMED HAIDAR, born in 1967.

Everything started on that terrible night of 21 November 1987 when policemen dressed in plain clothes woke me up abruptly. At first I thought I was having a nightmare but the days and years which followed showed me that the real and terrible nightmare is that which I was forced to endure for 3 years and 7 months, in the company of 70 Saharawis, including 16 women. They also had been kidnapped in similar circumstances.

We had been abducted by Moroccan police in plain clothes the day before the visit of the United Nations Technical Committee. This is why my group was thereafter known as « the Committee Group »

It's at the age of 20 years that my long journey to the end of hell begins. First in the secret place PC CMI ( (Compagnie d'Intervention Mobile/Mobile intervention company) in El Ayoun. My body is only a heap of flesh and bones attached to a plank, head down, hands and feet tied securely in front, the police begin to practise systematic methods of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment. This makes some fun for my tormenters. They began to torture me from the first instant I arrived in the special place for interrogation where torture has one dimension : slaps, kicks, insults, threats of rape... The more I resisted, the more the methods of torture diversify and sadism attains its heights : rags impregnated with chemical products (detergents or other strong substances), blows, electric shocks, cold showers... etc

This situation lasted nearly two days before I was transferred to another secret detention centre « EL BIR barracks », being near the beach of El Ayoun, where I spent a whole week in a room 2m x 2m (with 16 women), blindfolded, gagged, starved of food and water, awake facing the wall, most of the time standing up, we stayed like this until we received a new order.

After a week, I was taken back to PC CMI where I was subjected to tough questioning (torture, insults ... etc) for nearly three weeks.

After this interminable stage, suffering began which lasted four years : blindfolded so that one lost all notion of time and place. Living in inhuman and unbearable conditions. Food which left much to be desired, full of all sorts of insects. My clothes were dirty, ragged, after all these years, I couldn't even wash myself !!

Among other things, the lice, various illnesses. As it happens two months after my detention, I suffered a skin allergy and conjunctivitis because of the dirt. After six months I began to suffer from gastric complaints, which caused me pain and haemorrhoids from which I suffered greatly until I was operated on in July 1994. By the way, I let you know that I was also operated on in 1991 (just after my release) because of my painful back trouble from which I still suffer. Despite the fact that my health required serious treatment, I remain without a passport, the Moroccan authorities refuse to issue it, this is its number : DE 178 702 it was taken from me by the police when I was abducted.

Furthermore, at the time of my arrest, I was preparing my baccalaureat in experimental science (and I was brilliant), I had been arrested without being judged, only because I held principles to which I am still attached, like that, quite simply I couldn't carry on with my studies, which I would like to have done to achieve my dreams, to ensure my future...but the Moroccan authorities wanted things to be otherwise, and I was disappointed.

19 JUNE 1991 is the day of my liberation. The first day of summer and a music festival elsewhere. I am liberated, I was only a shadow of myself. A phantom, one of the living dead, a young girl out of a nameless hell !!

Today, I have not recovered from CMI, over ten years have passed and I still feel on I'm living a marginal life, on the outskirts of society, it's as if I have never been rehabilitated, especially when I happen to pass one of my former torturers in the street, I see them almost on a daily basis in the traffic. Recently, exactly on 21/11/2002 (15th anniversary of my arrest), a traffic policeman stopped me at 8.30 am on my journey to my children's school. He asked me for information beyond his duties, I completely refused to reply, after a long conversation, he assured me that he has had instructions to arrest me for several days, that is after the departure of my two friends Michèle Decaster and Afifa Karmous, I decided to lodge a complaint with the following number : 148/ 25.11.2002.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I am the object of pursuit and intimidations and that I benefit from no care or compensation for the cruel and degrading treatment to which I was subjected during my arbitrary detention.

As for indemnification, I oppose the truth, all the truth because my wounds are still inscribed in my memory.

Finally, I would like to affirm that since 1975 and in the absence of any mediation on an international level, the different forces making up the security service in Morocco (DST, RG, PJ, FAR…) have been acting illegally in Western Sahara, through waves of abduction, arrest and intimidation.

These repressive campaigns have targeted innocent persons of both sexes and different ages. To this day the fate of a large number of Saharawis is unknown...

Finally the Moroccan authorities have started this third millennium with a new kind of abduction, by proceeding with hasty trials against innocent Saharawis.

Dear friends, in sending you this testimony, I wish through you to inform public opinion about our deplorable situation, hoping that you will put pressure on the Moroccan authorities to reach a proper, objective settlement of the issue of human rights.

On this occasion, I launch an urgent appeal to the international community and to the United Nations Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to take a clear decision on the abuse of the fundamental rights of the Saharawis living in the territories of the Sahara under Moroccan responsibility, to demand that the Moroccan government put an end to these crimes against humanity.,

I take advantage of this occasion to pay tribute to all those who support human rights and encourage them to pursue their noble action, until human rights are respected throughout the world.

Before finishing this testimony, I beg all those interested in the defence of human rights to do everything possible to throw light on all the cases of the disappeared and detainees in uncertainty before the holding of the referendum.

Finally, please accept dear friends, my most sincere wishes for the best and greatest success and I thank you for all your efforts made for our cause for which I am ready to sacrifice my life should an obstacle arise.

Aminatou Haidar

El Ayoun, 12/12-2002

bijlage 3

Lijst van slachtoffers aangetroffen in diverse gemeenschappelijke graven; bron: www.ier.ma.

Lijst van slachtoffers aangetroffen in het gemeenschappelijke graf bij Tagounit (Maâmoura)

01 - Mouha Oulhaous.
02 - Bassou zayed Ouaâboud.

Lijst van slachtoffers aangetroffen in het gemeenschappelijke graf bij Agdez:

03 - Aich Bennacer.
04 - Oufdil Hadou.
05 - Kou Mouha Afroukh.
06 - Essalami Mohamed Said Ould Abid. (Sahraoui)
07 - Bira Ould Hsina Zamoutti. (Sahraoui)
08 - Did Dih Ould Mahjoub. (Sahraoui)
09 - Mohamed Cheikh Ould Hammouda Sabti. (Sahraoui)
10 - Nina Ibrahim Ould Bouzid. (Sahraoui)
11 - Mohamed Moubark Ould Mahmoud. (Sahraoui)
12 - Al Haj Mohamed Lamine. (Sahraoui)
13 - Wayssi Hamdi Ould Bouzid Rabbani. (Sahraoui)
14 - Habdi Khettari Ould Mohamed. (Sahraoui)
15 - Chramha Ahmed Ould Bachir. (Sahraoui)
16 - Bassou Louzi.
17 - Fatima Berhma Anaâja bent Ali. (Sahraoui)
18 - Nafaâ ould Abdallah Ould Mayara. (Sahraoui)
19 - Fadma Mouha Harfou.
20 - Wazane Belkasem.
21 - Najib Alwa Ould Taher. (Sahraoui)
22 - Rahel Mohamed Maâ Alaâyneen. (Sahraoui)
23 - Moumen Ould Ahmadnah. (Sahraoui)
24 - Lakhal Bilal Ould Lahbib. (Sahraoui)
25 - Âayad Dmiri ould Ali. (Sahraoui)
26 - Boub Mohamed Abderahmane Ould Ali. (Sahraoui)
27 - Elbatoul bent Sidi Ali. (Sahraoui)
28 - Shaili Abid Ould Mohamed. (Sahraoui)
29 - Mahdi Bari
30 - Mayara Hiba Ould Omar. (Sahraoui)
31 - Karkoub Jid Ould Mohamed. (Sahraoui)
32 - Chighali Ould sidi Makya. (Sahraoui)
33 - Slama Ould Ali Ould Bellehssen. (Sahraoui)
34 - Mohammed Cheikh Ould Mohamed Boukhari Abbali. (Sahraoui)

Lijst van slachtoffers aangetroffen in het gemeenschappelijke graf bij Kalat Megouna:

35 - Tarfas Ahmed Swilem. (Sahraoui)
36 - Boulsan Essalek Ould Abdessamad. (Sahraoui)
37 - Mohamed Boudi Ben Ibrahim. (Sahraoui)
38 - Didih Lahbib Ould Ahmed Lahcen. (Sahraoui)
39 - Mahjoub Lamdymigh Ould Laâroussi. (Sahraoui)
40 - Mohamed Adnan Ould Abdallah Laâroussi. (Sahraoui)
41 - Sidati Lakouara Ould Mohamed. (Sahraoui)
42 - Abdellaoui Mouloud Ben Mohamed Ben Tahar. (Sahraoui)
43 - Najem Mohamed Ould Sidi Ahmed Bidi Bibi. (Sahraoui)
44 - Najem Ould Ahmed Lahcen. (Sahraoui)
45 - Bousarwal Abdelali Ould Abedlmajid. (Sahraoui)
46 - Mohamed Lahbib Ammar Alounat. (Sahraoui)
47 - Ajdoud Ould Lakhalifa Sekihi. (Sahraoui)
48 - Salek Aslik Ould Abdellah. (Sahraoui)
49 - Mansour Mohamed Ould Abdallah. (Sahraoui)
50 - Yahya Eddahi Ould Mohamed Najem. (Sahraoui)


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