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Wave of arrests in Western Sahara PDF Print E-mail
Written by DI Monitoring & Investigation Committee   
Friday, 31 August 2007
Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Defend International is concerned about the recent massive wave of arrests in Western Sahara carried out by Moroccan security forces


Result of DI Action:

  • On September 4, 2007, the Moroccan authorities released the child Badr El-Hawassi without knowing the reasons for his detention since August 30.
  • While Abdelghani Kabdani has been transferred to Lekhl Detention center, in El-Ayoune in Western Sahara.


The launch of the electoral campaign by the Moroccan government in August 21, 2007 has increased harassment, intimidation, arrest and or abductions of citizens - operations carried out by security forces.


Below you'll find one of many cases:


El-Ayoune, Western Sahara
El-Ayoune, Western Sahara

The case:

Time: Thursday, August 30, 2007

Place: Linaach district, El-Ayoune - Western Sahara, Morocco

Detainees: two young Sahrawis  


Moroccan security forces carried out a raid on an internet cafe and arrested Badr El-Hawassi. Furthermore Abdelghani Kabdani was detained while he was on his way home.

The long hours passed slowly for their families waiting for them to return or to receive some news. It's a matter of deep concern, not being notified of their family member's detention. In fact they have no idea about the reasons for the arrest or the detention centre where they are held.

Nobody knows yet anything about the fate of the detainees.


DI view and Demands:

Defend International (DI) express its concerns about the recent massive wave of arrests to the Moroccan government.  It is unacceptable to learn that Moroccan security forces detain civilians with total disregard to all human rights principles and standards and for Morocco's international human rights obligations.


  • Defend International urges Moroccan authorities to ensure the safety of the detainees: Badr El-Hawassi and Abdelghani Kabdani; to guarantee not to detain them incommunicado, where torture is most frequently practiced according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and to release them immediately and unconditionally unless they have been charged with recognizable criminal offenses.
  • DI also calls for them to be granted regular access to their families, lawyers, and any medical treatment they may require.
  • DI asks for details of the charges against them and when they will be brought to trail.
  • Finally, Defend International seeks urgent assurances that Badr El-Hawassi and Abdelghani Kabdani are not being tortured or ill-treated and demands Morocco to develop a mechanism to stop putting detainees at risk of torture. 
Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 July 2008 )
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