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Hongerstaking opgeschort, eisen blijven gehandhaafd


Na 51 dagen hebben de Saharaanse politieke gevangenen die in hongerstaking waren besloten deze op te schorten. De woordvoerder van de hongerstakers, Ali Salem Tamek, maakte dat vanmiddag bekend. De eisen van de hongerstakers blijven gehandhaafd, en Tamek verwoordde die als volgt:

- putting an end to the unjust and oppressive practices including arbitrary detention, unfair court trials, torture, abduction, forced deportation and the attendant inhuman and degrading practices.
- opening the cities of Western Sahara for international independent observers.

De actievoerders staan onverkort achter het recht op zelfbeschikking en leggen de gehele verantwoordelijkheid voor de ontstane situatie bij de Marokkaanse regering. Tamek wees er verder op dat de hongerstakers dringend medische verzorging nodig hebben.

Verklaring van Ali Salem Tamek:

Following 51 days of hunger strike during which the Saharawi prisoners of conscience, detained at the Dark Prison in La Aaiún and the penitentiaries in both Ait Meloul and Oukahsa in Casablanca, have had agonising time bringing some of them to the threshold of death and converting them in veritable human ghosts, which all was coupled with sheer lack of medical care, and total indifference and arrogance by the Ministry of Justice that paid no heed to the grief of the families of the detainees and the persistent demands by many voices advocating human dignity.
Believing that the battle of the open-ended hunger strike and the risks it involved in terms of the risk of death and attendant disabilities was only waged in response to the persistence by the Moroccan State in abusing human rights, engaging in sacrilegious practices, and attempting to subdue the Saharawis through its ongoing policies of repression, detention, torture, unfair court trials and abduction even from within prisons, which all is reminiscent of its military invasion and annexation by force of the Saharawi territory at the end of 1975.

The Saharawi prisoners of conscience, reiterating the sacred principles and convictions in which they have believed and advocated in front of interrogators in Moroccan courts:

- Declare their attachment to the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and call upon the United Nations to expedite the implementation of this right;

- Applaud the massive solidarity movement with the hunger strikers that involved all the Saharawi population everywhere as well as significant international organisations and bodies, political parties, media, parliamentarians and clerics, including: Amnesty International, the International Organisation Against Torture, the Frontline of Defenders of Human Rights, Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Democratic Path, Algerian civil society and media, International Office for the Respect for Human Rights in Western Sahara, French Association of Friendship with African Peoples, French Communist Party, European Parliament, Spanish Parliament, Spanish regional parliaments, Swedish Parliament, Rafto Organisation in Norway, associations of solidarity with the Saharawi people around the world, US Congress, Spanish pastors, Spanish Council of Lawyers, Spanish civil society and media, legal and political bodies in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Scandinavia, Australia, and Latin America, the Arab Committee for Solidarity with the Saharawi people, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the French Commission on Western Sahara, the European Coordination of Support for the Saharawi People, all governments, organisations, associations and personalities that intervened and supported the hunger strikers, in addition to the laudable work conducted by the Association of the Families of Saharawi Prisoners and Disappeared, the Saharawi Union of Lawyers, The Spanish committee of follow-up of the hunger strike, and the group of lawyers who were delegated to defend the Saharawi prisoners of conscience.

- Applaud the efforts deployed by the Moroccan human rights bodies (Follow-up Association, Moroccan Watch for the Protection of Prisoners) in order to ensure the satisfaction of the demands of the hunger strikers;

- Call for the lifting of the security siege and media blackout imposed on the cities of Western Sahara, and opening them for international independent observers;

- Finally, acting in response to the families’ call, indicate that, though the battle of hunger strike has drawn unprecedented attention, it will remain the solid guarantee of satisfying the demands of the Saharawi prisoners of conscience that consist in putting an end to the unjust and oppressive practices including arbitrary detention, unfair court trials, torture, abduction, forced deportation and the attendant inhuman and degrading practices.

- Draw attention to the seriousness of the consequences of 51 days of hunger strike in terms of their health situation that necessitates urgent intervention to safeguard their physical integrity and mental wellbeing;

suspend their hunger strike starting from Thursday, 29 September 2005, without prejudice to their legitimate demands

For the 37 political prisoners sahraouis in hunger strike,
the prisoner of conscience sahrawi TAMEK Ali Salem Spokesman of the political prisoners sahrawis in unlimited strike of the hunger

September 29, 2005

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