The groups denounce that these prisoners are victims of ill-treatment, torture and intentional medical negligence
Moroccan prisons are the places most conducive to the spread of the coronavirus, where thousands of prisoners are living in overcrowded conditions
In Morocco, cases are increasing, affecting some 642 people, 37 of whom have lost their lives. In Western Sahara, 2 people have already been confirmed infected
Saharawi demonstration in the occupied territories of Western Sahara / Equipe Media
“Their lives are in danger and they must be released.” This is how NGOs and human rights activists summarise the situation of dozens of Saharawi political prisoners crammed into Moroccan prisons who are at serious risk of contagion by the Covid-19. For many years, the prisoners and their families have denounced “inhuman” conditions in these prisons; now the lack of ventilation and medical care add to the overcrowding as risk factors for infection.
In a letter sent to Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the 15 members of the UN Security Council, groups such as For a Free Sahara and The Movement for Saharawi Political Prisoners (MPPS) demand immediate action to guarantee the protection of Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons in the face of the pandemic.
The collectives denounce that “Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan prisons, the majority of whom are in Morocco and not in Western Sahara, are victims of ill-treatment, torture and intentional medical negligence”. They also warn that “in the context of this pandemic, they are easy targets for the Moroccan regime and there is an urgent need to intervene for their protection”.
Moroccan prisons are the places most conducive to the spread of the coronavirus, where thousands of prisoners are living in overcrowded conditions in deplorable conditions. The health of the prisoners is not important to the prison administration. And this is consistent because, otherwise, they would not be tortured or kept unhygienic and would be taken to the doctor when they become ill.
Meanwhile, the new coronavirus continues its global expansion. In Morocco, cases are increasing, affecting some 642 people, 37 of whom have lost their lives. In Western Sahara, two cases of covid-19 have already been confirmed. The Saharawis are in quarantine.
►The Norwegian Committee of support for Western Sahara suggests that we write letters to the following bodies to demand the immediate release of all Saharawi political prisoners. Even more necessary because of COVID-19.
• Mr. Saad-Eddine El Othmani, Prime Minister of Morocco
Fax: +212 37 76 99 95/37 76 86 56
• Mr. Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco