19 November 2012

Western Sahara: ANHRI Condemns the Sentences Issued Against Two of Human Rights Advocates

press release

ANHRI condemns the sentences for periods ranging between a year and three years against two of the human rights advocates.

On November 13, 2012, the Morrocon court has upheld the sentences issued against two of the Sahraa's human rights activists. "Abdelaziz Brai", was sentenced to three years of imprisonment and "Anwar El-Sadat Lohmaid", was sentenced to year of imprisonment. The he was released for being imprisoned the determined duration in the local jail of "El-Youn" in the Western Sahara.

They were tried because of the violence that took place in the city of Dakhla in September 2011, which led to the murder of one person and injuries. In addition damages to the property. The prosecution pressed the charges of "forming a criminal gang", "complicity to murder", "violence against public sector employees," and "destroying the public property," on them. In April 2012 the Moroccan court of Elyoun sentenced these activists for imprisonment periods ranging between one and three years despite denials made by the activists in presence or participation in these events.

In a related context and in a continuation of the series of the ongoing violations made by the Moroccan authorities against the Sahrawi activists, the Moroccan police broke into the house of the political detainee "Abderrahman Bougarfa" using force and expelled him and the rest of his family of 9 members in addition to the cracking of all the doors and windows of the house and translocated all the furniture and personal property of the family by a truck headed to an unknown place.

ANHRI said that "the sentences made against the Sahrawi activists are too harsh and prove that the trial was politically in the first place, not legally, in an attempt by the Moroccan authorities to repress the Western Sahara region to infanticide the popular movements that took place in the region through silencing the voices of the opponents in addition to the prosecution and sending them to prison by false charges".

ANHRI asserted on "the importance of the effective dialogue between the Moroccan authorities and the citizens of the Western Sahara to clarify their demands and discuss it with them in order to reach a mutually and satisfactory solutions instead of the violent repression of demonstrations and the demands that will not work and will not benefit; but will only escalate their demands".

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