Bachar Kadan, a 23-year-old Saharawi from El Aaiún, was known for his political activities in favour of self-determination and for his participation in demonstrations against the Moroccan occupation, usually at Casas Rojas, a very committed Saharawi neighbourhood. He also took part in the peaceful demonstrations by Saharawis on the evening of 18 December 2021 to celebrate the victory of the Algerian national team in the Arab Football Cup in Qatar.
The occupation forces did not like Bachar.
On 20 February 2021, he was attacked by a group of 5 Moroccan settlers aged 40/50 who left him in a pitiful state. Just look at the attached photos. The hospital initially refused to take care of him, but finally did treat him. He was assaulted because he was wearing an Algerian national team shirt.
The occupation authorities refused to investigate, and the crime never came before a court.
A second pursuit by the occupiers changed Bachar Kadan’s life forever.
Omar Boaaoulat – a Saharawi from Glaimim – was in contact with a group of Moroccans over the sale of a car, which had not gone well: they accused Boaaoulat of having falsified the documents of the car.
On 27 February 2022, a group of 5 masked people were on the rooftops of the city and broke down the rooftop door of the house of Abdelhafid Manouzi, who turned out to be a police officer and quickly called the prefecture for help. The perpetrators broke into the house and took Omar Boaaoulat with them and dragged him to cars they had parked outside the building. Boaaoulat was kidnapped for ransom. That is what his family, who live in Glaimim, in the south of Morocco, claim. Eventually, Boaaoulat was found and released.
There is no relationship between Bachar Kadan and the group of kidnappers. They extracted from Bachar the address of a friend of Boaaoulat and himself, Hamza Roubiou. That is where Boaaoulat was, near Manouzi’s house.
Bachar was arrested the same day, February 27, and charged with “the crime of kidnapping, using a motorized tanker truck, exposing the victim to torture, asking for a ransom payment and robbery through the use of weapons and possession of firearms”.
On June 22 2022, at his initial appearance, the accused pleaded not guilty to all counts charged against him in the indictment. During the trial on October 11, 2022, five prosecution witnesses were scheduled to appear, but only two of them appeared before the courtroom. The Moroccan police officer Abdelhafid Manouzi was unable to identify the attackers. Abdelaziz Fnidou, a Sahrawi neighbor of Kadan and friend of Boaaoulat, denied the accusations against Bachar. Boaaoulat’s family also denied that Kadan was with the attackers.
Boaaoulat had an arrest warrant for counterfeiting. Anyway he was not called to testify against Kadan.
That same day, October 11, the defendant was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 DH (500 euros) by a decision of the Court of First Instance.
In its judgment delivered on December 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction by raising the sentence to 20 years in prison.
Bachar’s lawyer, Mustafa Amloul, does not want to send the file to the family and does not respond to their requests.
This is how the occupier seeks to get rid of annoying Sahrawis, by fabricating files and accusations against them. The judges make them disappear through monstrous sentences. Trials condemning activists without evidence are indecent.
Occupied Western Sahara
March 16, 2023
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