Seven Western Saharan human rights defenders appear in Moroccan court

16/10/2009 | Information-Update

Degja Lachgrar Group leaving Algeria
Seven Western Saharan human rights activists appeared in a Moroccan court a week after being detained at the Casablanca airport by Moroccan authorities.

The seven, known as the ‘Degja Lachgrar group’ (named after the only woman among them) are Brahim Dahane, Ahmed Alansari, Yahdih Ettarouzi, Saleh Labihi, Degja Lachgrar, Rachid Sghir and Ali Salem Tamek.

They were arrested on 8 October 2009 after visiting family members in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria.

They first appeared yesterday, 15 October 2009, before a Casablanca judge, who decided the case should be moved to a military court. That afternoon, they appeared before a military court judge in Rabat who kept them until 01h00 AM on 16 October 2009.

The detainees were given heavy charges, including,
- Attempt to threaten the external security of the State
- Collaboration with the enemy

Afterwards the seven detainees were brought to the prison of Salé, near Rabat.

According to Brahim Dahanne, President of ASVDH, he informed us that they had been held for the past week at the Moroccan police headquarters. The first three days they were blindfolded, Dahane said in a phone call to ASVDH. They were interrogated by difference Moroccan security services, including Moroccan Police Commissioner Hamid Bahri, former deputy Wali of National Security in El Aaiun, Western Sahara.

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