July 2013 – A study tour of the Saharawi towns of southern Morocco and the occupied territory of Western Sahara has reported to MINURSO about their findings as human rights observers from France, Germany and Australia.
The main purpose of the tour was to test the right of Saharawi political prisoners to receive mail. Through the campaign “Write for their release” (Ecrirepourlesliberer.com), letters sent through the post are known not to reach them, so letters were brought to four prisons to deliver in person to the director of the prison. Only one accepted the letters and promised to pass them on to the prisoners. The delegation also met the families of the prisoners and gave them a copy of the letter sent to their family member.
All the experiences of excessive surveillance, interference with the itinerary and the consequences visited upon Saharawis who receive international delegations are noted.
“We witnessed a whole people under siege, whose resistance is getting stronger even though Morocco’s repression continues”, said the leader of the delegation, Claude Mangin-Asfari, wife of Saharawi political prisoner, Enaâma Asfari, one of the Gdeim Izik group of prisoners.