dijous, 21 d’octubre de 2010

Western Sahara: UPDATE - Trial of seven human rights defenders adjourned until 5 November 2010 while lawyers and observers were harassed

Posted on 2010/10/19
 
Front Line has received the following update in relation to the case of seven Western Saharan human rights defenders including Mr Ali Salem Tamek, Mr Brahim Dahane and Mr Ahmad Anasiri.

Further Information

On 15 October 2010, the Moroccan criminal court of Casablanca adjourned the trial of seven Sahrawi human rights defenders until 5 November 2010. Three of the human rights defenders, namely Mr Ali Salem Tamek, Mr Brahim Dahane, and Mr Ahmad Anasiri, were not permitted to travel to the court hearing from Sale prison where they are currently being held. The other four defendants, who were released on bail earlier this year, namely Mr Yadih Ettarrouzi, Mr Rachid Sghayar, Mr Saleh Lebayhi and Ms Idagja Lachgare, presented themselves to the court.

A representative of the defence team stated that the legal nature of the case has been changed from “felony” to “delinquency”. The human rights defenders have been accused of “endangering the security of the state”, an accusation which the defence team stated was not based on any evidence.


During the session, a large number of Moroccan lawyers, who are apparently against self-determination for Western Sahara, shouted slogans and harassed the defendants, their lawyers and Sahrawi and international observers who attended the session.


In response to the failure of the court to hear the case, Mr Ali Salem Tamek, Mr Brahim Dahane and Mr Ahmad Anasiri issued a joint statement condemning the Moroccan state for persistently denying them the right

to a fair trial. They also condemned the manner in which the Moroccan lawyers harassed both the defendants and their legal representatives, as well as Sahrawi and international observers. Mr Ali Salem Tamek, Mr Brahim Dahane and Mr Ahmad Anasiri have announced that in protest against the manner in which the Moroccan authorities have dealt with their case, and to highlight the denial of their legitimate right to a fair trial, they will go on hunger strike on 19 and 20 October 2010.

Mr Ali Salem Tamek is the Vice-President of the Sahrawi Collective of Human Rights Defenders (CODESA); Mr Brahim Dahane is the President of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights (ASVDH), and Mr Ahmad Anasiri is the General Secretary of the Sahrawi Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Smara. The three human rights defenders were arrested along with four others on 8 October 2009 at Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca. The other four defenders - Mr Yadih Ettarrouzi, Mr Rachid Sghayar, Mr Saleh Lebayhi and Ms Idagja Lachgare - were released on bail earlier this year. On 21 September 2010 the military court in Rabat declined jurisdiction over the case
of Ali Salem Tamek, Brahim Dahane and Ahmad Anaciri.

Please see the previous Front Line update of 15 October 2010

Source
http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/13593

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