Equipe Media –
El Aaiun – Occupied Western Sahara
May 31, 2023
Moroccan occupying authorities removed surveillance cameras from the house of Sahrawi human rights activist and former political prisoner, Mahfouda Al-Faqir, in the early hours of Tuesday. The removal of the cameras is an attempt to intimidate Al-Faqir and prevent her from documenting the police surveillance she and her family have been subjected to for several months.
In an interview with Equipe Media, Al-Faqir stated that the city’s Pasha (governor) and two plainclothes police officers supervised the attack on her house, removing the cameras and threatening her and her family with imprisonment and eviction. She added that the assault had left psychological effects on her husband, her children, and their neighbors, who felt fear and panic.
Al-Faqir emphasized that she would continue her peaceful struggle and expose Morocco’s violations of the rights of the Sahrawi people, including their inalienable right to self-determination. She affirmed that the tightening of restrictions and intimidation would not deter her or discourage her from defending her people’s rights, seeking justice, and holding the Moroccan oppressors and officials accountable.
Mahfouda Al-Faqir is a prominent voice in the struggle of the Sahrawi people for their independence. She was previously arrested and detained about two years ago on fabricated political charges, sentenced to six months in prison. Since her release, she has continued to fight for the rights of her people and confront the oppression and violations perpetrated by the occupying Moroccan authorities against Sahrawis.
The removal of surveillance cameras from Al-Faqir’s house is another escalation in a series of measures aimed at intimidating activists. Through this action, the Moroccan occupation aims to restrict freedom of movement, monitor activist activities, and silence voices opposing its occupation and the grave and systematic violations it commits against the Sahrawi people and their resources.