The new/ old system of killing and torturing against the Sahrawis in Morocco prisons.

Sid Hamdi Yahdih

Since many week the news announced to us the death of a sahrawi in Goulimin prison. Chouihi Slimani suffred an attak from the officials- and their dogs- in the prison after anouncing that he is a loyal to the Sahara affair and not a Moroccan citizen. They killed him to make the others having fear.

When Morocco occupied WS in 1975, its officials ( DST, police, army) started a systematic  campain of torture and jailing against any Sahrawi who has whatsoever relation with POLISARIO or has relatives in the refugee camps. They took thousands of Sahrawis to noumerous Moroccan well noted prisons like M'gouna, Gounitra, Agdez and Tazmamart- the last one is like Abou Graib prison in Bagdad, the only difference is that no one could take pictures in Tazmamart while they did in Abou Graib. When the odor of rotten cadavers got out of it, like Abou Graib today, the Morroccan king ordered his officials to close it as USA will do with Abu Graib nearly. They destroyed Tazmamart but it still open in the memories of Sahrawis, and Moroccans too, as a bad souvenir of the the era of systematic terror.

The procedure of killing is not new in Morocco' s process of torture in WS. In 1975, few days after the begining of the occupation, the royal forces detained about 35 Sahrawi in Zbara - a place derives its name from sand- dune, it is found near Saguia el Hamra- and killed them savagely by putting them alive under drifted- sand dune. During the same operation, they detained 15 others civilian Sahrawis near the same place. The detainees told them that they are unarmed and had no relation with the fighting. the Morroccan army put them up in a helicopter and threw them down one after other. the operation had been happened in the heart of the desert and no one reported on it. This is not an imaginable story but a real one; the names of the mentioned killed people is under invistigation since a long time by the red cross organisation.

The other civilian detainees, who did not get killed in the prisons, had been released by Moroccan police... But how they could obtain their freedom? The Moroccan authority ordered their release without jury or lawyers... But why and how they did so? Simply to make them die outside the prisons. When the jailers know that some detainee is going to die under torture and bad-health conditions, they ordered his release to do not die into the prisons. The list of such cases is noted in the occupyed territory. The majority of released- people died in the next days and the others stay suffering un-recovered illness.

The last case of torture that led to death in Aiun against the Sahrawi detainee -Hadi Hassan Ali- is not/ will not be the last one while no international organisation could intervene to oblige Morocco to let its colonial behaviours in Western Sahara. If some one had cought pictures into any Moroccan's prison the situation would be similar with that one in Abu Graib in Iraq.

25 May 2004