Rabat – Families of detained Sahrawi activists have announced the decision to protest in front of Polisario’s “ministry of justice” to condemn the arbitrary arrest and treatment of their relatives in prison.
Pro-Polisario news outlet FuturoSahara reported that the families of the activists are urging all people in the region to take part in the protest.
The news outlet said that the families are condemning the involvement of members of the “national gendarmerie” in the investigation.
On Saturday, July 20, one of the gendarmes “insulted” and accused activist Moulay Aba Bouzid of lying during a hearing.
The families are also “surprised” to discover the gendarmerie members are attending hearings, which is against the law as they are not a party to the case and they do not legally declare their presence.
The activists informed their lawyer, who then raised a petition to the “minister of justice.”
The investigative judge ordered the gendarmeries to leave the hearing room during the investigation session with Fadel Brieka, who has been on a hunger strike for nine days.
Former Polisario police officer Mustafa Ould Sidi Mouloud quoted a statement yesterday, July 23, from the Sahrawi Initiative for Change. The statement said that Brieka’s health has deteriorated due to the hunger strike, according to his family.
The family of Brieka said that the “authorities” in the prison of Eddhaibia still refuse to provide their relative with medical care.
The statement added that Breika’s family “believe that his condition is a source of serious concern.”
The activists’ defense lawyer also expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of working conditions and standards in the prison. He further condemned the prolonged period of detention, which is against the judicial procedures in the case.
Both Aba Buzid and Brieka were arrested arbitrarily in mid June at a protest. The activists were condemning actions taken by some Polisario leaders.
Human Rights Watch condemned the arrest of the activists, calling for their immediate release.
The front is also facing pressure from the family of Ahmed El Khalil, a Polisario leading member who has been missing for a decade.
Algerian intelligence services, along with Polisario members, kidnapped El Khalil in 2009. The forced disappearance took place two months after the Polisario had appointed El Khalil to monitor human rights in Tindouf camps.
On July 20, a group of Sahrawis marched in Rabouni, Algeria to condemn the continued, forced disappearance of El Khalil.
Wearing yellow jackets, several Sahrawi activists are now protesting the arbitrary detention of the activists in the Tindouf camps.