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Western Sahara

Three Sahrawi hunger strikers in Moroccan prisons (see PN 2521) won their freedom in mid-May. Six Western Sahara human rights activists were arrested last October on their return from Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria. Three (Saleh Bouih, Rachid Sghir and Yahdih Terroussi) were released on bail by the appeals court in Salé on 18 May. The six began a hunger strike on 18 March but ended it six weeks later at the end of April. On the same day, 28 April, Sahrawi Mohamad Dayhani was abducted by Moroccan plainclothes police in Laâyoune, Western Sahara. He had just left a celebration for a relative, another freed political prisoner, Abdallah Dayhani. As of mid-May, Mohamad’s whereabouts were still unknown. In mid-May, it was announced that Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem is producing a documentary ( “Oulad Lemzun” or “Sons of the Clouds”) on Spain’s former colony of Western Sahara, illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. Bardem is a long-time supporter of Western Saharan independence. According to the trade magazine Variety, the film will include interviews with the presidents of France and Algeria, two former Spanish prime ministers, and with ex-US president Bill Clinton.

Topics: Western Sahara