28 August 2012

Morocco: A Brush With Morocco's Secret Police in Laayoune, Says Kerry Kennedy

El Aaiun — The President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), Ms. Kerry Kennedy, affirmed a brush between the international human rights delegation and Morocco's secret police took place in the occupied city of Alauin during the visit of the delegation she lead to occupied Western Sahara.

"The secret police when he reached across the front passenger seat of the Toyota , to block the lens of my 17 year old daughter Mariah's Nikon from recording the beating of a woman by his colleagues, uniformed and not. Mariah's shutter was too fast for him, so he lunged further in an attempt to snatch the camera, grazing her face. Mariah was fine. The woman was not.", Wrote kennedy in article published Monday by Huffington Post.

She underlined that Front Line Defenders director Mary Lawlor and Eric Sottas, Founder of the World Organization Against Torture, went to the local hospital, where they visited the bloodied and bruised victim, Soukaina Jed Ahlou, President of Sahrawi Women Forum.

"A handful of women in multicolored melhfas-the traditional Sahrawi garb, a 20 feet of printed fabric wrapped around the body head to toe-surrounded their sister protester", said President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Kerry Kennedy added that "there were the handful of thugs, identified to us by local human rights leaders as members of the DST, or Morocco's version of the Stasi. In addition, there were the two plainclothes informants who had been following us all day"

"The violence we witnessed is not an isolated incident. We met a dozen women whose sons and husbands were beaten and remain in prison for their non violent activism. We met with a group of men who showed us home videos of non-violent demonstrators be harassed, kicked, and beaten with nightsticks by uniformed police and their ununiformed colleagues," she stated.

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