The victims of human rights violations are accusing three leading Polisario members of serious and “barbaric” acts.
Rabat – A group of 126 Sahrawis, all victims of human rights violations in a Polisario-run prison near Tindouf in Algeria, have addressed a letter to the international community asking for an end to their struggle.
Pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro-Sahara has shared the letter, drawing attention to their plight.
“We are the victims of the terrible El Rachid prison near the Sahrawi camps in Tindouf, southwestern Algeria. We are the signatories of the letter. Following the horrific [violence] we have been subjected to, we address the Sahrawi, international and regional public opinion and the readers to share our suffering [with you].”
The signatories described the violence they have experienced from members of the executive committee of the Polisario as “an infernal and even barbaric behavior that is beyond imagination.”
Polisario leaders bear responsibility
The Sahrawis addressing the letters named three Polisario “officials,” including Ahmed Batal, Al Bashir Mustafa Al Sayed, and Ahmar Al Hadrami as perpetrators of human rights violations.
The activists said that the three Polisario members bear all the responsibility for the violent crimes “authorities” in the prison have committed, including murder, torture, psychological and physical violence.
The alleged victims also accused the three Polisario leading members of forcing detainees’ wives to divorce their husbands and “marrying them with some executioners. All this behavior was committed by the Executive Committee in the name of Sahrawi people.”
The letter from the Sahrawi activists added that “there is no doubt that the testimonies of the victims in the past weeks have left a deep impact on Sahrawis in general.”
Last week, Sahrawi activist Moulay Aba Bouzid spoke publicly about the threats and violence he has experienced at the hands of the Polisario Front following his release from a Polisario run prison.
Bouzid was part of a group of activists who the Polisario imprisoned in June for taking part in demonstrations to condemn human rights violations in Tindouf.
“I announce to the Sahrawi and international public that I receive continuous threats from the leaders of the Polisario Front,” said Aba Bouzid in his message.
He continued that his two colleagues, Fadel Braika and Mahmoud Zidane, have also received threat the same threats.
The Polisario Front has been linked to several alleged cases of human rights violations, including the continued disappearance of Ahmed El Khalil, whose family has been looking for him since 2009.
El Khalil was a leading member of the Polisario Front, but Algerian intelligence services and the Polisario Front allegedly kidnapped him just weeks after the Polisario had appointed him to monitor human rights in the camps.
El Khalil’s family continues to protest his disappearance, calling on the Polisario Front to reveal his fate.
A call for help
The conditions in the Tindouf camps have not always had the international attention they deserve, with only a few rights NGOs condemning the arbitrary arrests in Tindouf.
The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres briefly mentioned the situation of Bouzid and his colleagues in his annual report in October.
Paragraph 71 of the report said that the UN bodies were informed by the OHCHR about “the harassment, arrest, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by Frente POLISARIO security forces of a human rights defender and a blogger engaged in documenting human rights violations in the region.”
The signatories of the recent letter of the victims also said that they “remember the souls of the martyrs” from the prison and all the other Polisario-run prisons under the supervision of the leaders of the breakaway group.
The victims are calling on the front to bring the “killers and executioners” to justice.
“We want to expose the crimes we were exposed to in El Rachid prison and to enlighten Sahrawi public opinion. We also want to the [Polisario Front] to uncover the fate of the missing, martyrs, and remains of people [buried] in secret graves,” the victims concluded.