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Aminatou update

December 17, 2009

[UPDATE: yeah. Haidar back in El Aaiun & passed customs w/o passport, on Spanish papers]

Short update on the Aminatou Haidar stalemate, which may be about to finally resolve itself one way or the other:

  1. AFP reports that she was taken to intensive care earlier today, reportedly after vomiting blood.
  2. Whether related or not, Morocco just caved, according to multiple sources, incl. Reuters, which has POLISARIO jumping on cue into the spotlight:

“Effectively everything has been resolved, according to our information,” said Ibrahim Ghali, the POLISARIO ambassador to Algeria, where the movement has its HQ. “A plane is at Lanzarote airport awaiting instructions,” he told Reuters.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see if this turns out to be true: recall that an earlier attempt to fly her back ended when Morocco changed its mind and refused landing permission. Fassi Fihri recently met with Ban Ki-moon, so they might want to put a UN stamp on her return, to help Rabat save face internally. Not that it will look good for the government anyway, but they really got themselves into that dead end. M6 should consider expelling some of his media advisors instead.

Also, pour les French speakers, Ibn Kafka has a series of interesting posts (1, 2, 3) discussing the legality of the expulsion and nationality issue, from an anti-independence but pro-rule-of-law Moroccan standpoint.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Laroussi permalink
    December 20, 2009 14:59

    Moroccan authorities now show clearly what Moroccan rule is all about and have put Aminatou Haidar in house arrest, apparently without any trial or other legal procedure.

    “The orders of the police were also to stop the people living in the house from leaving. Haidar’s children could not visit the house of a neighbour”, according to El País’ reporter in El Ayun.

    Reporters and were stopped from even accessing the neighbourhood Casa Piedra where Haidar is living. “This neighbourhood is forbidden” a police officer said to El País’ reporter.

    Even Haidar’s own doctor, Domingo de Guzmán, was stopped from entering and Aminatou Haidar herself, on trembling legs supported by her daughter and another family member, was forced to intervene in order to allow her doctor free passage.

    While Haidar’s neighbourhood is off limits to journalists and all demonstrations in favour of self-determination are banned as usual, spontaneous or not, “spontaneous” manifestations in favour of the Moroccan annexation proposal (the so called autonomy plan) are allowed – as usual.

    “There were no riot police there, as around the house of the activist Aminatou Haidar in the same city. The authorities seemed thrilled that Spanish journalists took photos and not one of them was requested a working permission, a permission that otherwise is essential in the neighbourhood where the Saharawi activist lives”, ABC’s reporter writes.

    • December 20, 2009 17:02

      Lovely. Does putting a female human rights activist under house arrest ring any bells??? The Burmese know better…

      A person with Nobel Peace Prize aspirations could not aspire for more, and we, Moroccans, are giving it to her.


    • Laroussi permalink
      December 21, 2009 12:06

      Saharawi NGO’s report that Moroccan police will not allow them to meet with media, Spanish news agency EFE reports.

  2. ElCid permalink
    December 20, 2009 18:23

    Hello all,

    If anyone in this world is in doubt about the Maroccan repression needs to wake up.

    They have the French book of repression in hand . Many people will name their kids Aminatou ..a beautiful name ,now with more meaning …

    Even Robin Hood is jalous ..Let us ,in this blessed time, rejoice for the Right will succeed against the Evil ..

    God bless Aminatou!!!

    • Labouirat permalink
      December 20, 2009 22:36

      The only evil doers are those when backed by foreign interests want to split this country. We have seen so many of them throught out the history of Morocco, they have failed and so will the present day ones.

      God preserve the unity of this country.

  3. ElCid permalink
    December 21, 2009 00:40

    Hello All,

    One can say what he wishes but history is written and no amount of money will ever change it.. As the makhzen Keep spending the money for favor around the world to grease it’s “allies” ,it is taking away from it’s people ..maybe it is needed for the education of it’s people or to combat the abject poverty . No country has ever tried to split Marocco or claimed any of it’s territory … Well maybe one and so you don’t get confused or you may not read history books I will tell which : Spain…and the rest is history ..for more let me know I will enlighten you as you seem to need it.

  4. Laroussi permalink
    December 21, 2009 20:40

    Removing the Sahrawi messenger

    The police cordon of dozens of agents around the home of Aminatou Haidar is not the only “security belt” these days imposed by the Moroccan authorities in El Ayun.

    The tactic of frightening the Saharawis who open the doors of their houses to foreigners has become increasingly fashionable in the capital of Western Sahara. The modus operandi is as follows. Minutes after the reporters access the house, the officials from the Ministry of Interior, who follow them 24 hours a day, knock on the door. They do not carry guns, at least not visibly, but are armed with threats and refer to laws that do not exist to expell the reporters from these houses of people who supposedly do not embrace the thesis of Rabat in the Saharawi conflict.

    With a half smile, they make it clear to the owners of the house that they must face the consequences. Some of them are old aquentances from years of interrogations and torture in various units of El Ayun, some of the activists who know them explain.

    On Sunday morning, this correspondent was with two other journalists in the house of Hammad Hmad in the neighborhood of Hay Villas. It did not take them long to appear, at least half a dozen of them were posted outside the home. “You need permission to be in this house,” says one of them standing by the door to this correspondent. He’s tall, stocky, wearing a long black coat and sunglasses. The residence permit (in Morocco, of course) is of no use here, nor is the accreditation from the Ministry of Communication (Moroccan) or the word of officials (Moroccans) that we can work without problems in the city.

    In order not to put Hammad’s family in danger we leave with our work unfinished. The activist, more than two meters tall and over a hundred kilos heavy, watches helplessly, thinking more about what may happen to his mother or his sisters than of the expression of satisfaction on the faces of the policemen for work well done.

    “This city remains a big prison. We left a small prison (he says referring to the local prison, which he has visited several times) and they put us in a larger one, El Ayun”, declares Hammad.

    Free translation from ABC’s story “Eliminar al mensajero saharaui”.
    By Luis de Vega, special envoy to El Ayun for the Spanish daily ABC

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