WESTERN SAHARA

WEEKLY NEWS

original french

WEEK 46

10.-16.11.2002

 

SADR
12.11.02
President Abdelaziz appointed Mustapha Mohamed Ali Sidi El Bechir, a member of the National Secretariat, a former military commander and wali, to the post of Minister of the Occupied Territories and the Saharawi community abroad. He will replace Ayoub Lehbib, recently gone over to Morocco, who was appointed, but never took up the position. (SPS)

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

10.11.02
Political prisoners:
Tamek
Since 1 November, Ali Salem Tamek has been observing a hunger strike in protest at the conditions of his detention. On the 10th day of the strike, denouncing the indifference of the Moroccan authorities, he published a statement in which he renews his grievances, namely the improvement of his prison conditions, the recognition of his status as political detainee, the revision of his trial and his transfer to the penitentiary complex of Salé. Tamek has pointed out that his state of health has deteriorated. He is suffering from stomach problems, rheumatism and asthma. He has threatened to make his strike more radical if the Moroccan authorities continue to ignore his legitimate complaints. Finally, Tamek expressed his solidarity with all Saharawi detainees held in El Ayoun prison, and demanded their release and the establishment of the truth on the fate of disappeared Saharawis. (corr.)

11.11.02 :
Political prisoners: Tamek (continued)
Saharawi students in Rabat organised a sit-in outside the management of the prison service, asking the immediate and unconditional release of Tamek. A delegation is received by the General Director of Prisons, who takes note of their grievances and promises to act.
The family of Ali Salem Tamek travel from Assa to Inzegane near Agadir for a sit-in outside the prison.
In the course of the day, the director of Inzegane prison, after talking to Tamek, assures him that his grievances are being taken into account. He therefore decides to suspend his strike, he is transferred the same evening to the penitentiary complex of Salé near Rabat. (corr.)

13.11.02
Political prisoners:
Nassiri, trial postponed once again
Repetition of the scene at the court of appeal in El Ayoun: the trial of Nassiri Ahmed was postponed until 27 November because of the absence of a dozen witnesses. Five witnesses seem not to have received their papers asking them to appear, they will be called again. The court decided to force them to appear. Two missing witnesses are incarcerated in the civil prison in El Ayoun. The representative of the public ministry, responsible for the prison, declared he had put out an order for appearance without checking it was executed. The court took the decision to force the prisoners to present themselves at the sitting on 27 November.
The defence, made up of several lawyers, including one Moroccan, denounced the successive postponements of the trial because of the absence of witnesses, whereas the court has constraining powers to make them appear. It described this negligence as scandalous and denounced the willingness to prolong the suffering Nassiri is enduring in a prison known for its inhuman conditions.
The request for provisional release of the accused - to allow him to pass Ramadan with his family - was also refused, even though Nassiri fulfils all the legal criteria: an official of fixed abode, family man, etc. The accused himself attempted to intervene to protest against the new postponement of the trial and the refusal of bail, but the judge ordered him to be quiet.
The hearing was attended by a large public audience and by two Spanish lawyers present as observers. Numerous officers of the information services, DST, RG, DAG, were present in the courtroom and around the building.
The Saharawi students in Rabat organised a sit-in outside the office of the Ministry of Human Rights, demanding the release of Nassiri and of all Saharawi political detainees. A delegation was received by members of the Minister's cabinet, who asked them to come back and present their grievances when the government is sworn in.(corr.)

14.11.02
Political prisoners: Nassiri
Nassiri has begun a hunger strike in protest at the repeated postponements of his trial.(corr.)

15.11.02
Political prisoners: Tamek
A Saharawi student delegation was received again by the head of the Rabat prison service, to which it presented a document concerning the grievances of Tamek. After the meeting the students declared that the tone had changed and that the authorities were not respecting their undertakings and were maintaining restrictions on Tamek's right to visitors. (corr.)

REFERENDUM

12.11.02
Spain: 7th conference of parliamentary intergroups "Peace and Freedom for the Saharawi people"
Meeting in Merida, the representatives of the intergroups of autonomous parliaments pronounced themselves in favour of the celebration of the referendum in Western Sahara and decided to visit the occupied territories next year, "to talk with Moroccan authorities and in solidarity with the population of the occupied territories." This 7th conference aimed to "pursue all efforts towards ensuring the freedom of Western Sahara, freedom which we promised in 1975 and which lamentably has not come about", the president of these parliamentary intergroups, Txomin Aurrekoetxea, emphasised during a press update. He indicated that Spain had "an historic debt" towards the Saharawi people, and should undertake to improve the food situation of the Saharawi refugees. The intergroups are present in the 17 autonomous communities as well as in the Congress and the Senate. (agencies)

15-23.11.02
Symbolic referendum
Support organisations of the Saharawi people in the Madrid region are organising a symbolic referendum on the independence of Western Sahara. "Do you agree that the Spanish government should support unequivocally the implementation of the UN peace plan and the urgent holding of the referendum of self-determination for the Saharawi people?" and "Do you agree that the Spanish government should officially recognise the Polisario Front as the legitimate representative of the Saharawi people?" are the two questions put to all those who take part in this referendum. Until 23 November, ballot boxes are at the disposal of citizens of several towns of the autonomous community of Madrid. It is also possible to vote on internet:
http://www.canalsolidario.com/referendumsahara.
The Spanish ministry of Foreign Affairs deplored this initiative, calling it a "clearly private" consultation "in which the government has no part". (agencies)

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN of the BIRDHSO: Sign the Appeal "Freedom and Justice for the 526 Saharawi Disappeared"

CAMPAGNE INTERNATIONALE du BIRDHSO: signez l'Appel "Liberté et Justice pour les 526 disparus sahraouis"

CAMPANA INTERNACIONAL del BIRDHSO: Firmen el Llamamento "Libertad y justicia para los 526 desparecidos saharauis

CAMPAGNA INTERNAZIONALE del BIRDHSO: Firma el Apello "Libertà e Giustizia per i 526 desaparecidos Sahraui"

COMING UP...

(see also the agenda)

Reminder:

15.-23.11.02, Madrid: Referéndum simbolico: La Plataforma Pro Referéndum Libre en el Sáhara Occidental organizá una consulta popular sobre el futuro del Sáhara del 15 al 23 de noviembre. Sábado 23 de Noviembre, a las 12H., en la Plaza Mayor de Madrid.
También se puede votar por internet en:
http://www.canalsolidario.com/referendumsahara

20.11.02, Madrid: Proyeccion peliculas, Ciné en la gruta, 20:30 h, Los baules del retorno (Maria Miró) + Laila (Silvia Munt) Entrada: Gratis hasta completar aforo.

21.11.02, Wien, 19:00 Uhr, Kulturzentrum Villa Windisch-Grätz, Linzerstrasse 452,(erreichbar von Hütteldorf mit den Buslinien 149, 151, 249, Wolfersberg): "Westsahara, ein vergessenes Land Afrikas", Dia-Vortrag von Mag. Noriko Aoyagi (Frau Aoyagi ist japanischer Herkunft und lebt als Kulturjournalistin in Wien. Sie besuchte dreimal sahraouische Flüchtlingslager). Veranstaltet von Österreichische Frauenföderation für Weltfrieden mit Unterstützung Österreich Soka Gakkai International.

22, 23 y 24.11.02, Fuenlabrada (Madrid), Ayuntamiento: VII CONFERENCIA INTERNACIONAL DE SOLIDARIDAD DE OSPAAAL: ¿Guerra o procesos de paz? Palestina, Colombia, Sáhara, otros ... Info: ospsolidaridad@urbs.org /osp@urbs.org

23.11.02, Barcelona , Av. de la Catedral: Festa solidária de difusió de la caravana d'emergéncia d'aliments per al poble sahrauí (As. Catalana D'Amics del Poble Saharaui mailto:acaps@sahara-acaps.org)

Vuelos charter:

03-08.12.02, Vuelo chárter Valladolid (aeropuerto de Villanubla) - Tindouf (Argelia). Para reservas a la delegacion saharaui en Castilla y Leon, delegaciónsaharaui_cyl@wanadoo.es

04-09.12.02, Vuelo charter Barcelona- Tindouf. Info: ACAPS-CATALUNYA, secció Vilanova i la Geltru, afont@pie.xtec.es

05.- 09.12.02, Vuelo charter "ARAGÓN CON EL SÁHARA". Info: As. Um Draiga,umdraiga@umdraiga.com

24.-29.01.03, Volo charter Pisa -Tindouf. Info: Ass. Ban Slout Larbi saharawi@libero.it

21.12.02- 04.01.03, Campo di lavoro con bambine e bambini Sahrawi. Info: jaimasahrawi@libero.it

24.02.03 Sahara Marathon : http://www.saharamaraton.org

INTERNET

Comunicado del Colectivo de defensores de los Derechos Humanos Saharauis «Territorio del Sahara Occidental bajo ocupación marroquí», 06.11.02

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