The Spanish political scientist received disturbing death threats for his support for Morocco’s position on Western Sahara
Rabat – Vocal Spanish political scientist Pedro Ignacio Altamirano is taking Polisario supporters to court over death threats he has received. Two supporters of the Algerian-backed separatist group had hounded the Spanish academic and repeatedly made threats against his life.
Altamirano posted his legal filing on twitter, appearing to send a signal to his would-be assailants that he is not intimidated by their threats of violence.
Altamirano is a vocal supporter of the Moroccan position on Western Sahara and sees its Autonomy Plan as the only realistic route to a permanent peace, an opinion increasingly shared by many countries and supported by UN resolutions. It is also, since December 10 of last year, the official position of the US.
But Polisario supporters, who see supporters of the widely acclaimed autonomy proposal as enablers of Morocco’s “occupation,” harangued and harassed the Spaniard on social media.
Those threats escalated to outright death threats directed at Altamirano on social media. In response, Pedro Altamirano responded by taking the two Polisario supporters to court in Spain over their death threats.
Altamirano spoke to Morocco’s state media and commented on the pending legal case. He stated that “the Polisario uses violence and threats in a futile attempt to intimidate the voices that speak the truth about the situation in the Sahara.”
Altamirano argued that these Polisario death threats came in response to “the diplomatic victories won by Morocco and following the latest events which consolidate the Kingdom’s position concerning its southern provinces.”
He added, “As a defender of world peace, I expressed my position regarding the Sahara issue. I have said over and over again that the Polisario is adrift and it does not represent the Saharawis.”
An outspoken supporter of the International Group to Support Saharawi Reunification and Peace, the Spanish political scientist has repeatedly questioned Polisario’s media warfare, drawing the ire, and eventually even death threats from Polisario backers.
But it appears Polisario’s death threats have done little to blunt Altamirano’s realist perspective on the Western Sahara issue. “There is no war in the Sahara,” he tweeted, adding that “those who, for terrorist interests, spread the lie of war, lie.” He concluded: “As much as they repeat a lie, they will not make it true, enough of self-serving lies.”