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ISACOM denounces Moroccan escalation of repression against Saharawi civilians and calls for their protection under Geneva 4th Convention

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Occupied El Aaiun (Saharawi Republic) 22 November 2020 (SPS)- The Saharawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation (ISACOM) denounced Moroccan authorities’ escalation of repression against Saharawi civilians in the occupied zones of the Saharawi Republic, calling on the international community to protect them under the Geneva 4th Convention, in a press release issued yesterday.
ISACOM reported cases of Saharawi human rights defenders and their families badly raided by Moroccan occupier’s Police injuring some members of the family of Ms. Sultana Khaya, member of ISACOM, including her elderly mother.
Following is the complete text of the Press Release:
Moroccan occupation authorities ramp up attacks against human rights defenders
Since Morocco, the occupying power of Western Sahara, violated the ceasefire agreement and attacked Saharawi civilians protesting peacefully at Guerguerat on November 13, 2020, it has ramped up crackdown on human rights defenders, members of the Sahrawi Organ Against the Occupation (ISACOM- in Spanish abbreviation) in occupied zones.
Severe restrictions on freedom of movement and attack on civilians have been on the rise ever since. Intimidation and detention of civilians, including minors, as well as intercepting bystanders, searching their pockets and cell phones, and beating them are common practices.
It is in this context that the human rights activist and member of ISACOM, Sultana Khaya, was arrested on the evening of November 19th at the northern entrance´s checkpoint of the occupied city of Bojador by civil police officers affiliated to the Moroccan occupation intelligence services.
The Sahrawi activist was forced to get out of the car, beaten harshly, stripped of her clothes, and agents tampered with her belongings and that of her sister-in law who was accompanying her. This happened before the eyes of the senior Moroccan police officer in the occupied city of Bojador, Abdel Hakim Amer and the torturer called “El Madfaai”.
Subsequently, she was taken to her family's house, placed under Moroccan police and auxiliary forces’ siege, where she and her elderly mother, Minatou, were brutally beaten. Minatou suffered severe injuries in the head and back and was admitted to the hospital after she passed out. Surprisingly, her daughters were prevented from accompanying her.
Sahrawi human rights defender, member of ISACOM, Mr. Hasanna Douaihi, had to accompany the old lady to the hospital to stand by her side and check on her health conditions. Surprisingly enough, he found himself surrounded by the Moroccan police headed by Bojador senior police officer. He was forced to leave the hospital and threatened to death should he go on monitoring and reporting on human rights violations.
On November 20, 2020, the Moroccan occupation police kept Sultana Khaya´s family under siege, while preventing other family members from visiting. Protesting against restrictions and abuse imposed on them, prompted Moroccan police officers to break into the house. This time Sulatan´s sister, Waara khaya, was harshly beaten and suffered severe wounds to the head and bruises on the back. As a result, she was admitted to the hospital, where she was neglected, insulted, and threatened by members of the Moroccan repressive apparatus. Consequently, she was expelled from the hospital before even completing the first aid medical check-up, according to what the family reported.
On the same day, the Moroccan occupation forces in El-Aaiun´s city sought to break into Saharawi singer’s house, Malainin Haddi, and surrounded it with dozens of police cars and masked officers. Amidst feelings of panic and terror among family members and neighbours, Malainin was threatened if he sings at the wedding of Mr. Ahmed Al-Tanji, the head of Saharawi organisation “Equipe Media”.
ISACOM strongly condemns the continuous harassment and ill-treatment of Sahrawi human rights defenders and citizens. ISACOM thereby would like to:
Draw the attention of the international community to the Moroccan occupation act aimed at targeting peaceful Sahrawi civilians, and calls for their protection within the framework of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as they are citizens of an occupied country in a state of war and under continuous military aggression.
Draw the attention on the consequences of dealing with the Moroccan occupation's crimes and its repressive acts without assertive intervention, as occurred in the past, which has emboldened Morocco to persist in its violation without being held accountable.
Call upon the international community to avoid the indifference and apathy-like attitude and to pay attention to the suffering endured by Sahrawi civilians who are subject to all forms of torture and abuse by the Moroccan occupation authorities.
Recall that the daily violations committed by Moroccan occupation authorities in contrary to Geneva Conventions and international law, renders the international community the primary responsible for what the Sahrawi are exposed to in the occupied territory of the Saharawi Republic.
Hold the United Nations, once again, responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the occupied zones of the Saharawi Republic due to its inability so far to implement its resolutions related to decolonization from the occupied territories of the Saharawi Republic.
Executive Bureau of the Saharawi Organ against the Moroccan Occupation
Occupied El Aaiun, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, 21 November 2020." (SPS)
090/500/60 (SPS)