Equipe Media- Occupied Dakhla
13 June 2023
On June 13, 2023, Moroccan occupying authorities arrested two Sahrawi activists in Mhairiz, south of the occupied city of Dakhla. Fatima Haidara, 31, and her sister Khadija, 36, were arrested at the Gendarmerie station. The two women, who are married and have a combined four children, were then sent to appear in front of the Moroccan king’s prosecutor in occupied Dakhla.
According to the information received by Equipe Media, Moroccan occupying authorities have accused the two women of assaulting a Moroccan public official. However, Fatima Haidara’s husband and other witnesses say that it was the Moroccan official who attacked Fatima as she tried to peacefully protest against the delivery of new homes to Moroccan settlers. This is confirmed by the photos showing Fatima Haidara covered in blood and the traces of that blood on the shirt of the Moroccan official.
It is important to note that the Moroccan authorities have not presented any evidence to support their accusations against the two women. This raises concerns about the fairness and transparency of their arrest and subsequent prosecution.
This incident is not an isolated case. The Moroccan government has a history of repressing Sahrawi activists and human rights defenders. Recently, the Moroccan occupying authorities in Essmara have arrested five Sahrawi women as they called for their rights to housing and work. These women, who have no breadwinners, are facing unjust treatment and are being deprived of their basic rights.
Furthermore, Morocco continues to encourage Moroccans to settle in occupied Western Sahara, further impoverishing Sahrawis and disregarding the presence of the UN mission in the territories. The international community, including bodies like the European Court of Justice, has emphasized the need for the consent and benefit of Sahrawis from the exploitation of their resources.