20 Feb 2013 : Trial of 24 Akdeim Izik- Report from Equipo Mediático
The trial of the Saharawis kept in prison for political reasons after the attack against the «Akdeim Izik» protest camp by the Moroccan authorities on November 8, 2010, started on February 8, 2012 in Rabat before the Moroccan Military Court, after having been postponed twice. They have all denounced the charges against them and demonstrated that they were false and fabricated for this specific event.
Many testified that they had been regularly tortured and humiliated during interrogations to the point they feared to die there from.
The overall and the day-to-day course of the trial are reported herein, as well as some specific elements of each political prisoner’s intervention before the court.
Copenhagen, 20 February 2013 – The EMHRN condemns the court-martial of the 24 Sahrawi activists in Rabat.
The EMHRN sent lawyer and EMHRN representative Michael Ellman out to observe the trial and after a series of adjournments – not all explained – the trial has at last been held and the verdicts have been extremely severe.
EMHRN report >>
The Guardian, Letters, 20 February 2013
The Guardian has published a letter about the Saharawi trials from the Western Sahara Action Forum – a group working on human rights monitoring in the UN mission’s mandate. The letter describes the trials as a travesty of justice…..
Read letter published by The Guardian >>
A press release about the letter has been put out by the Free Sahara Network (based in London)
Monday 18 February 2013
“The Moroccan authorities have ignored calls to try the defendants in an independent, impartial civilian court. Instead they have opted for a military court where civilians can never receive a fair trial.” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International…..(cont.)
Read Amnesty International comments >>
Statement, United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 19 February 2013
Link to UN statement >>
“We are concerned by the use of a military court to try and convict 25 Saharan civilians charged in relation to violence during and after the dismantling of the Gdim Izik protest camp near Laayoune, Western Sahara, in November 2010, when 11 members of the Moroccan security forces and two Saharans were killed.
The 25 civilians were sentenced to between two years and life in prison by the Permanent Military Tribunal of the Royal Armed Forces in Rabat during the night of 16 to 17 February 2013. (cont.)
Al-aaiun/Western Sahara: February 17th, 2013
After 9 days of Gdaim izik trial, the military court has sentenced 9 Saharawi political prisoners to life imprisonment and convicted 16 others to 360 years combined.
The trial of 25 Saharawi political prisoners & human rights defenders took place between February 8th and February 16th 2013 in the military court in Rabat/Morocco. Included was also the Saharawi human rights activist Hasanna Aalia, who was condemned in absentia.
RFKcenter Comm, January 31, 2013
A public service announcement has been made by Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. Oscar winner Javier Bardem, Kerry Kennedy, and the makers of the film “Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony” join in a campaign to end human rights violations against the people of Western Sahara.
Watch Kerry Kennedy’s announcement on YouTube >>
Sign petition Kerry Kennedy and Javier Bardem’s petition calls on President Obama and the UN to ensure there is a human rights mandate included in the UN Peacekeeping mission in western Sahara.
1 February 2013
“The trial of civilians before a military court does not meet internationally recognized standards for a fair trial. The 24 accused must be brought before a civilian court with all the human rights guarantees that go along with it, and in no event must anyone be sentenced to death.” (…cont.)
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa , Fri, 01/02/2013
Read Amnesty report >>
Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA)
Press Release 1 February 2013: Time to set them free
For immediate release
In an open letter to the Moroccan Minister for Justice, the Australia Western Sahara Association called for the release of 25 Saharawi prisoners who have been held illegally for over 2 years without trial.
Today, 1 February 2013, their trial is due to be held in Rabat (local time). However, this trial has twice been scheduled and postponed.