The families of the detainees have been protesting against arbitrary detention in the camp after three opposition activists were arrested for participating in peaceful demonstrations.
Rabat – Families of detained Sahrawis have addressed a letter to the leader of the Polisario Front, Ibrahim Ghali, urging him to intervene to release their relatives who have been incarcerated for more than seventy days for “unknown” reasons.
In June, the Polisario Front arrested Mahmoud Zidan, Fadel Braika, and Moulay Aba Zid. The three activists were taking part in a protest to condemn “human rights violations and inhumane conditions” in the Tindouf camps.
Since then, the detainees’ relatives have been staging strikes and protests to condemn the “arbitrary detention” of the activists.
Pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro Sahara shared a copy of the letter from the families of the detainees, who also held a protest on Sunday, September 1 in front of the self-styled presidential headquarters.
During the protest, Sahrawis chanted slogans to emphasize the dire necessity for freedom and justice in the camp.
In the letter, the protesters called for an “an answer, clear enough” to explain the reason for the arrest of their relatives who were “kidnapped and put behind bars for 74 days for unknown reasons.”
The families also condemned the “terrible” silence of the Polisario Front on the arrest and the treatment the detainees received from the “concerned authorities.”
The letter accused the Polisario Front and its leaders of “injustice against us and our children.”
“Shame, shame on anyone who does not recognize his people’s rights,” the letter read.
The families further condemned the treatment of the detained activists, accusing Ghali of sending “hungry wolves and malicious foxes to cut, rip, and tear them apart.”
Appalled by the situation of the three detained activists, the protesters, the activists called on the leader of the separatist group to give a clear account and explanation on the arrest of their relatives. The letter also called for a fair trial for the three activists.
The families of the victims were not the only people to condemn the arbitrary arrest of the activists. In August, the Sahrawi Khat Shahid “the Line of the Martyr” movement addressed a letter to the United Nations, calling on it to end Polisario’s violations against the activists.
“They were kidnapped, tortured and thrown into small cells in a land where temperatures exceed 54 degrees.”
Amid the protests and condemnation, international media have been silent on the subject of the arbitrary arrest of the activists. Meanwhile, international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the immediate release of the activists.