6 November 2012

Morocco: Moroccan Police Suppressed the Demonstrations 'Laayoune', and Assaults Two Female Sahari Activists

press release

ANHRI condemns the use of the excessive force and violence to suppress the demonstrations that erupted in the areas of Laayoune, Dakhla and Smara in Western Sahara on Thursday, November 1, 2012, which call for independence, in addition to having kidnapped a young participant as well as threatening the activist "Aminatou Haidar" and her friend "Sakina Gad Ohlo."

The dense public forces (police- assisting forces - Army) have used excessive violence to suppress the peaceful demonstration that erupted in the Laayoune, in the Western Sahara, as they used batons and knives against the citizens. The forces have threatened them during their detention, in addition to forcing the cafes and the shops close. Moreover, they have threw stones on citizens and cars. As well as the police raided the homes of several Sahrawi citizens and attacking many of the protesters who gathered in hospitals which resulted in killing many of the wounded and injures.

The city has witnessed similar situations, which led to the arrest of several protesters on the Saturday night, November 3, 2012 due to the violent intervention of the Moroccan police to suppress the demonstration, which broke out in the city and resulted in dozens of wounded and injuries. As Moroccan police attacked several Sahrawi activists, most notably "Aminatou Haidar", the Sahrawi activist that was attacked by kicking and kicking and trying to hit her with knives by a member of the police, as well as she was hit with batons when she was at her car and throwing stones which resulted in breaking the car glass which led to a bruising in her down back. Then the police moved to raid her home violently and brutality. In addition to the attack on the activist "Ohlo" by beating and kicking this resulted in losing her consciousness. The Moroccan police kidnapped the young Sahrawi "Hamia El-Salama" (17-yearsold ) from the City Aldoarat in Laayoune, where the elements of the police arrested and beat him, they have kicked him and threaten him of rape in addition to force him to get in the police vehicle and then they thrown him in a deserted area.

ANHRI said that "the attack on the peaceful demonstrations and wounded activists is blatant violation to the freedom of opinion and expression. Suppression became the only method used by the Moroccan authorities to address the peaceful demonstrations and the same method of security of using the excessive violence to abuse the human body and the arrest of demonstrators, in an attempt to infanticide the popular movement which took place in the country. Such acts are clear in the Western Sahara region, which is witnessing widespread protests that calls for the right to self-determination".

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ANHRI calls for the need to enforce the law and open an immediate investigation regarding these attacks and to hold those who were involved in the attack on the activists and bring them to justice.

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