Thursday, November 26, 2009

letter from New York Bar Association (Lawyers Association )

Phone: (212) 382-6700
Fax: (212) 768-8116
November 25, 2009
H.E. Abbas El Fassi c/o Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco 1601 Twenty First Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 Fax: 202-265-0161
H.E. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
President of the Government
Avda. Puerta de Hierro, s/n.
28071 Madrid
Fax: (+34) 913-900-217
Your Excellencies:
I write on behalf of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (“the Association”) to express our concern about the situation of Ms. Aminatou Haidar, Chairwoman of the Collectif des Défenseurs Sahraouis des Droits de l’Homme – CODESA (Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders) and a prominent human rights defender in Western Sahara. The Association is concerned about her safety and about the legality of her expulsion to Lanzarote (Spain). Given the serious nature of this matter, the Association respectfully urges you to take all necessary measures to ensure that Ms. Haidar can promptly return to Laayoune (Western Sahara) and rejoin her family.
The Association is an independent non-governmental organization with more than 23,000 members in over 50 countries. Founded in 1870, the Association has a long history of dedication to human rights, notably through its Committee on International Human Rights, which investigates and reports on human rights conditions around the world. The Association also follows legal and policy developments in Africa through its Committee on African Affairs. Similarly, the Association’s United Nations Committee follows key international developments throughout the world. All three of these Committees have identified Ms. Haidar’s situation as an urgent matter.
Since the eruption of the Western Sahara conflict in 1975, when Morocco first asserted its sovereignty over the territory, there have been consistent reports of human rights violations by Morocco against the Saharawi people of Western Sahara. In 2006, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights identified the human rights situation in the region as a "serious concern" and called for the creation of a mechanism for ensuring adequate and continuous monitoring in both occupied territories and in refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. While the Association is not taking a
position on the issue of Western Sahara's sovereignty, the Association does feel strongly that human rights in the region be respected.
Ms. Haidar is a prominent human rights defender in Western Sahara. She was awarded the 2006 Juan Maria Bandres Human Rights Award (Spain), the 2007 Silver Rose Award (Austria), the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, and the aforementioned 2009 Civil Courage Prize. She was also nominated for the European Parliament Sakharov Prize in 2005, for the Amnesty International USA’s Ginetta Sagan Fund Award, and for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. The Association is concerned that Ms. Haidar was detained, expelled, and denied return to Western Sahara for her human rights work in Western Sahara.
According to news reports, Ms. Haidar was arrested on November 13, 2009 by Moroccan authorities upon her arrival at the airport of Laayoune (Western Sahara) together with two Spanish journalists, Mr. Pedro Barbadillo and Mr. Pedro Guillén. The company was travelling through Las Palmas from the United States, where Ms. Haidar recently was awarded the Civil Courage Prize by the Train Foundation for her peaceful advocacy for human rights of the Sahrawi people. It was further reported that, while the two Spanish journalists were released after several hours, Ms. Haidar was expelled from the country to Lanzarote (Spain) after her passport was confiscated by the Moroccan authorities. According to reports, Ms. Haidar declared Western Sahara and not Morocco as her country on the immigration entry form she completed prior to disembarkation at the airport in Laayoune, which she had done in the past, and the Moroccan authorities deemed it a renunciation of her Moroccan citizenship. Ms. Haidar started a hunger strike at the airport of Lanzarote after Spanish authorities refused to allow her return to Laayoune because she was unable to produce her passport. It is further reported that Spanish authorities forcefully intervened to end her hunger strike because of serious concerns about her health.
The Association is concerned that the forced expulsion of Ms. Haidar by the Moroccan authorities was illegal. According to Article 12 (4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), which Morocco ratified on May 3, 1979, no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country. The confiscation of Ms. Haidar’s passport constitutes a clear and severe restriction on her ability to leave Spain and to return to her country of citizenship, and consequently amounts to a breach of Morocco’s international law obligations.
With regard to Spain, we are concerned that the denial by the Spanish authorities of Ms. Haidar’s return to Western Sahara is illegal. Article 12 (2) of the ICCPR, which Spain ratified on April 27, 1977, stipulates that everyone shall be free to leave any country. Spain’s obstruction to let Ms. Haidar leave Lanzarote therefore constitutes a breach of this provision. In addition, Spain seems to have violated its own Spanish law on Foreigners (Ley Orgánica 4/2000 of January 11, 2000, also known as Ley de Extranjería de España (“Law”)). According to Article 25 (1) of the Law, foreigners need a valid passport or travel document to be able to enter the country. At the time Ms. Haidar arrived at Lanzarote, her passport had already been confiscated and thus she was no longer in possession of a valid travel document. Nevertheless, as news reports state, Spain let her enter its territory because Ms. Haidar has a resident’s permit to obtain medical treatment there. If this document was sufficient for the Spanish authorities to allow Ms. Haidar to enter Spanish territory, it can be argued that this document should equally be sufficient to leave the territory in order for her to return to Western Sahara. In addition, Article 28 (2) of the Law states that only in exceptional circumstances of national security or public health can the Minister of Interior Affairs prohibit the departure of a foreigner out of Spanish territory. To the Association’s knowledge, no official reason has been given to prohibit Ms. Haidar’s departure out of Spain, therefore making the prohibition of Ms. Haidar’s departure from Spain illegal.
We believe that Ms. Haidar’s expulsion and denial to return to Western Sahara violates international and national law. Accordingly, we respectfully request that Your Excellencies take all necessary measures to ensure the immediate return of Ms. Haidar to Laayoune.
Respectfully submitted,
Patricia M. Hynes
Excmo. Sr. D. Francisco Caamaño Dominguez
Ministerio de Justicia
C/ San Bernando 45
28015 Madrid, Spain
Fax: (+34) 91-390-22-44
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520
Fax: 202-647-1722
H.E. Taieb Fassi-Fihri
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Avenue F. Roosevelt
Rabat, Morocco
Fax: (+212) 377-65-508
H.E. Aziz Mekouar
Ambassador of Morocco to the U.S.
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
1601 Twenty First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Fax: 202-265-0161
H.E. Abdelwahed Radi
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Place el Mamounia
Rabat, Morocco
Fax: (+212) 537-73-07-72
European Parliament
Subcommittee on Human Rights
Rue Wiertz
B-1047 Brussels
Fax: (+32) 2-284-90-70
Amnesty International
1 Easton Street London WC1X 0DW, UK
Fax: (+44) 20-79561157
Ahmed Herzenni - President of the Human Rights Advisory Council
Conseil consultatif des droits de l’Homme
Place Achouhada- BP 1341
10 001 Rabat, Morocco
Fax: (+212) 537-72-68-56

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The following is a statement from Gloria Reuben, Emmy nominated actress, singer,
philanthropist and member of the RFK Center Leadership Council on the expulsion
and consequent hunger strike of RFK Human Rights Laureate, Aminatou Haidar:

"The courage, strength and determination that embody Aminatou Haidar’s spirit
are the things that are keeping her alive, for she is undertaking the most
intense challenge… being on a hunger strike for more than 10 days, and counting.

The Moroccan authority’s claim that Ms. Haidar renounced her citizenship by
writing on her immigration form that Western Sahara is her homeland, is
completely absurd. They must be held accountable for their actions of detention,
interrogation and forced deportation.

Ms. Haidar is surely hanging on by a thread physically. Her continuous and
fearless fight for human rights for her fellow countrymen and women… and in turn
for all humankind…cannot be in vain. Let us unite and stand up for her now, as
she has done for countless others throughout her life."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mohamed Baikam et Ahmed Salem Fahime: C.V

الاسم : محمد البيكم
تاريخ الازدياد : 1979 لكويرة
معلومات : تعرض للاعتقال والتوقيف 6 مرات 2006/2007 ،تم طرده من عمله في مقهي الأنترنت بعد إقفاله لمدة 35 يوم بتهمة المس بالوحدة الترابية وممارسة أنشطة معادية ، تم قطع راتبه في بلدية لكويرة 2007 ،التهديد بالتصفية الجسدية من طرف مسؤوليين أمنين ، تعرض للطرد من الإدارة المغربية ومنعه من الحصول علي اوراقه الثبوتية بتهتمة الانفصال ،تعرضت عائلته للضغط كبير ، ممارسة الضغط عليه من طرف مدير المخابرات ووالي المدينة ومحاولة شراء ذمته بمقابل مادي وتجنيده للعمل في الاستخبارات المغربية مقابل الحصول علي منزل ووظيفية ومبالغ نقدية .

بطاقة تعريف عن الناشط الحقوقي والمعتقل السياسي "أحمد سالم عبد الحي " *البوروتو *

الاسم الكامل :أحمد سالم
الأسم العائلي : فهيم
تاريخ الإزدياد 1950 العيون المحتلة
العمل :متقاعد من شركة الفسفاط بوكراع
الحالة العائلية : متزوج وأب لعشرة أبناء
الصفة : ناشط حقوقي ومعتقل سياسي وعضو في الجمعية الصحراوية asvdh
الاعتقال السياسي : تم اعتقاله في شهر 3 من سنة 1976 بيسسيمي العيون المحتلة ،الاعتقال الثاني يوم 11 فبراير 1977 الحبس لكحل العيون المحتلة ،الاعتقال الثالث يوم 25 في شهر 9 من سنة 1980 حيث قضي 9 أشهر في الدار البيضاء بكوميسرية دار مولاي اعلي الشريف ليقضي 9 أشهر في سجن أكدز ،10 سنوات قلعة مكونة .

The Arrest of Two Sahrawi Activists: Mohamed Baikam and Ahmed Salem Fahime

The Arrest of two Saharwi Activists at the Sahraoui Mauritanian borders today:

Two Saharwis have been arrested late this afternoon by the Moroccan authorities at the Sahraui Mauritanian borders when they were coming back from Mauritania when they were trying to enter the western Sahara occupied territory. Mohamed Baikam and Ahmed Salem Fahime are known political and human rights activists who were always calling for the right of self determination for Saharwis and always worked secretly to unveil the atrocities committed by the Moroccan State. They were arrested today November 21st,2009 when they were driving back from Mauritania to join their families in the Western Sahara . Moahmed Baikam was born in 1979 in Laguira , Western Sahara and is a member of the Sahraui Committed Agianst Torutre in Dakhla city. Ahmed Salem Fahime is a former disappeared and was in the secret horrible detention center called : Meggouna. He was born in Laaoyune in 1950. They both feared the arrest, but they still insisted on going back to the Occupied Territory of Western Sahara.
We urge you all to take action and demand their release. We also implore you to investigate their fate as we fear for their lives.
Attached is their passports copies along with a CV of Mohamed Baikam and his picture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Human Rights Watch: Reverse Expulsion of Sahrawi Activist

Morocco: Reverse Expulsion of Sahrawi Activist
Spain Must Also Press and Facilitate Aminatou Haidar’s Return Home

(New York, November 19, 2009) – Morocco must reverse its expulsion of Sahrawi rights activist Aminatou Haidar and allow her to enter her country of nationality, Human Rights Watch said today. Spain must intercede with Morocco to ensure her return, Human Rights Watch added.

Morocco refused Haidar, who is president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA), re-entry into Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara and forced her onto a flight to Spain on November 14 after she listed her place of residence as “Western Sahara” on a border control form. Haidar holds Moroccan citizenship and was traveling on a Moroccan passport. Morocco claims the former Spanish colony as part of Morocco, whereas many Sahrawis, including Haidar, reject Morocco’s claim in the absence of a referendum on self-determination.

The expulsion of Haidar comes at a time of mounting repression by Morocco of peaceful activism by advocates of self-determination for Western Sahara.

“Morocco cannot summarily denaturalize and deport its own citizens because of the way they fill out entry forms at the airport,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “They must let Haidar return home and stop harassing her for peaceful advocacy of Sahrawi self-determination.”

Moroccan Foreign Minister Taïeb Fassi Fihri said on November 15 that Haidar, who was returning from a trip abroad November 13, effectively “waived” her Moroccan citizenship by writing “Western Sahara” as her place of residence on her entry form. Haidar refused to back down when senior officials, including a security commissioner for the region and a crown prosecutor, came to the airport and warned her of the consequences of her actions.

Police detained Haidar at the airport overnight, then confiscated her passport and national identity card before putting her on a plane to Arrecife in the Canary Islands (Spain), where she is presently on a hunger strike at Lanzarote airport demanding the right to return to her homeland.

The United Nations classifies Western Sahara as a “non-self-governing territory” and does not recognize de jure Moroccan sovereignty over it. Morocco has proposed regional autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan rule, a solution rejected by the Polisario, the Sahrawi independence movement based in Algeria, which favors a vote on self-determination that could lead to independence for the territory.

Meanwhile, Morocco administers the contested territory as if it were part of Morocco. This includes the issuance of Moroccan passports to its residents, few of whom have access to any other form of travel documents. Haidar has no other passport.

Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Morocco has ratified, states in part, “Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own…. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.”

Moroccan authorities have the right to require all persons entering territory under their control to provide certain information and answer questions. However, to summarily confiscate a passport and expel a citizen for filling out her address in a way that displeases authorities is a punishment that is both excessive and politically motivated. Such measures should be undertaken – if at all – as part of a procedure where the concerned party’s due process rights are fully respected. If authorities consider that Haidar has committed an infraction of the law, they should grant her entry and allow her to reside at her home while they pursue their investigation.

Spain, meanwhile, shares in responsibility for the impasse because it admitted Haidar into its territory even though she arrived against her will and carried no passport, and because Spain’s foreign ministry has reportedly said she cannot leave Spain because she lacks a passport.

Given that Spanish authorities are aware of the arbitrary way that Morocco confiscated Haidar’s documents and expelled her, Spain should allow her to exercise her stated wish to board a flight from Spain to El-Ayoun, and thereby exercise her rights under article 12 of the ICCPR.

“Spain should avoid complicity in Morocco’s repressive behavior,” said Whitson. “It should let Haidar return to the land of her citizenship.”

CODESA, the human rights organization over which Haidar presides, has seen its legal registration blocked arbitrarily by Moroccan authorities, who allege that its leaders espouse the cause of Sahrawi independence and are therefore in violation of Moroccan laws prohibiting “attacks” on Morocco’s “territorial integrity.” Haidar’s trip abroad included a stopover in New York to receive the Train Foundation’s Civil Courage Prize, one of many awards Haidar has received from international organizations.

The expulsion of Haidar, a 42-year-old mother of two, is an unprecedented measure but only one of several acts of repression against Sahrawi activists carried out by the Moroccan government since October. King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced the new hard-line approach in his speech November 6 marking the 34th anniversary of “the Green March,” Morocco’s entry into Western Sahara to claim its control over it:

Let me clearly say there is no more room for ambiguity or deceit: either a person is Moroccan or is not. There can be no more duplicity or evading of duties. Now is the time for clear, unambiguous stances, and for responsible conduct. One is either a patriot or a traitor. There is no halfway house. One cannot enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship, only to abuse them and conspire with the enemies of the homeland.

On October 6, Moroccan police prevented five Sahrawi activists from leaving Western Sahara for Mauritania, confiscating their passports and sending them back to El-Ayoun, without providing an official reason for the measure. Other Sahrawi activists have been barred from traveling abroad, including Sultana Khaya on October 10 and students Hayat Rguibi and Nguiya Hawassi, who were turned back November 18 at Casablanca airport as they prepared to depart for Great Britain.

On October 8, the security services arrested seven Sahrawis upon their return from visiting the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria where, Moroccan authorities allege, they met with “bodies opposing Morocco,” presumably a reference to Polisario leaders. The pro-government press accused the seven of also meeting with Algerian security officials. The judge investigating their case has referred it to a military court, a rare and ominous development for civilians accused of politically motivated offenses.

On at least seven occasions since October 19, police have interrupted visits by foreign human rights delegations or journalists to the homes of known Sahrawi activists, informing them that from now on, all such visits must receive prior authorization.

Haidar, reached by telephone on November 17, said that she frequently filled out the entry form at El-Ayoun airport in the same way in the past without being detained or questioned. This time, however, she sensed trouble upon deplaning on November 13 because of the heavier-than-usual security presence at this small and normally quiet airport. Haidar said that as soon as she handed in the entry form, the police took her aside for what ended up being 12 hours of questioning on topics ranging from her views on the Western Sahara conflict to her various activities during her month-long trip abroad. Haidar said that while she refused to change how she had completed the form, she made no statement renouncing Moroccan citizenship. When the questioning ended, she signed a written record of it and was informed that the police would keep her passport and national identity card and that she was being placed on the next flight to Spain.

“Morocco needs to find a solution to the crisis they have provoked by expelling Aminatou Haidar because of her political beliefs,” said Whitson. “And that solution must involve allowing Haidar to return home and ending the current crackdown on Sahrawis who peacefully espouse the cause of self-determination.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

La Fundación Robert Kennedy lanza una campaña para exigir a Naciones Unidas una investigación sobre el caso de Haidar

La Fundación Robert Kennedy lanza una campaña para exigir a Naciones Unidas una investigación sobre el caso de Haidar


La Fundación Robert Kennedy por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos ha lanzado una campaña en Internet para exigir a la alta comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Navanethem Pillay, que abra una investigación sobre la expulsión de la activista saharaui Aminatou Haidar de Marruecos, según informó hoy Coalición Canaria (CC) en un comunicado en el que animó a la ciudadanía a sumarse a la iniciativa.
El pasado viernes, los periodistas españoles Pedro Barbadillo y Pedro Guillén y la activista por los derechos del pueblo saharaui Aminatou Haidar permanecieron retenidos por las autoridades marroquíes en el aeropuerto de El Aaiún (Sáhara Occidental) donde fueron interrogados por los servicios de inteligencia de Marruecos bajo sospecha de cargos todavía desconocidos.
Barbadillo, Guillén y Haidar fueron separados y estuvieron en diferentes puntos del aeropuerto tras ser abordados por las autoridades dentro del avión en el que acababan de aterrizar procedentes de Gran Canaria, en torno al mediodía del viernes, 13 de noviembre, según se informó desde la Asociación de Amistad del Pueblo Saharaui de Sevilla (AAPSS).
Por su parte, el mismo viernes por la noche, los dos periodistas regresaron a Gran Canaria, mientras que Haidar fue enviada a Lanzarote al día siguiente, donde ha permanecido hasta estos momentos en espera de poder regresar a El Aaiún, y donde ha iniciado una huelga de hambre.
La activista ha recibido desde el lunes la visita de un sanitario de Cruz Roja que recomendó la ingestión de agua con azúcar y otras bebidas ricas en sales minerales para evitar un mayor deterioro de su estado de salud. "Tiene una salud delicada. Padece una úlcera y ha pasado mala noche", explicó un portavoz de la comunidad saharaui en Lanzarote en declaraciones a Europa Press.

Friday, November 13, 2009

APSO : Declaration sue l 'arrestation de Minatou Haidar.

Déclaration APSO

Vendredi 13 novembre 2009, à 12h30 GMT, Madame Aminatou Haidar a été arrêtée dans un impressionnant déploiement de forces de police Marocaines, à l’Aéroport d’El Aaiun, au Sahara Occidental,.

Madame Aminatou Haidar est une grande défenseure des droits de l’Homme et de la cause de son pays, le Sahara Occidental, occupé par le Maroc depuis 1975. Elle a subit comme d’autres, les coup et les tortures et une disparition forcée pendant 4 ans, pour sa résistance pacifique et son opinion politique.

Son courage dans ce combat pacifique a été plusieurs fois internationalement reconnu et soutenu.
Elle a été honorée en 2006 du Prix pour les droits humains Juan Maria Bandres, en 2007 du Prix Silver Rose, dans la catégorie lutte pour la liberté et la dignité humaine, en 2008 du prix Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), en octobre 2009 du prix du Courage Civil de la fondation John Train.
Elle a d’autre part été nominée par le Parlement Européen pour le Prix des droits humains Andrei Sakarov, par la branche américaine d’Amnesty International pour le Ginetta Sagan Fund Award mais aussi pour le Prix Nobel de la Paix.

Son arrestation intervient alors qu’une très inquiétante recrudescence d’arrestations de responsable d’association de défense des droits de l’homme, d’étudiants, d’intellectuels sahraouis, de harcèlement de la jeunesse sahraouie, est orchestrée depuis le mois de septembre 2009 par les autorités marocaines.

Le récent discours du roi, appel à la haine civile contre un ennemi intérieur, les sahraouis, qui revendiquent la juste application de leur droit légitime à l’autodétermination et dont le Maroc est le colonisateur, sert de justification à des actes officiels et domestiques de barbares discriminations et violences arbitraires des Marocains sur les Sahraouis.

Le Sahara Occidental est un territoire non autonome selon l’ONU, en attente de décolonisation depuis 1963. L’invasion violente du territoire par le Maroc en 1975 a été condamnée sans relâche par l’ONU et le conseil de sécurité. Néanmoins, le sentiment d’impunité laissé par l’absence de réelles mesures de coercition internationales contre le Maroc, l’autorise à des extrêmes d’inhumanité contre la population sahraouie n’ayant pas fui vers les campements de réfugiés.

Nous, APSO et réseau sud de la France, espérons que ces actes graves contre des citoyens courageux et résistants pour leurs droits et leur identité ne resteront pas ignorés plus longtemps de quiconque est attaché aux valeurs fondamentales de l’humanité