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Moroccan police rapes teenage Saharawi human rights activist
25 feb 2009
Last Sunday Moroccan police in the occupied Western Sahara detained a young Saharawi girl and raped her for standing up against the Moroccan occupation. First they interrogated her, then they molested her and finally the policemen sodomize her with their truncheons. All in the presence of higher ranking officers. They even threatened to kill her if she made her story public.
Despite the threats on her life the 16-year old girl made contact with Saharawi human rights organisations in the occupied territory which recorded her testimony, and the information has also been independently verified by the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara. This is her statement:

Sunday 22 February 2009 c. 19h00, Maatallah, El Ayoun / Western Sahara

Walking through the Maatallah district [El Ayoun, Moroccan occupied Western Sahara] I was surprised by six plain clothed policemen in the company of the well-known torturer Mohamed El Hassouni, known as "the Moustache", who forced me into their vehicle. When we arrived near the Allal ben Adellah school they covered my eyes and handcuffed me behind my back. I asked the policemen for the reason of this detention and one of them, known as El Aalaoui, told me that I had broken the law by attending a meeting with human rights activists. This included the last meeting with Michèle Decaster( from the French solidarity organisation AFASPA), in the presence of my friend Nguia El Haoussi.

All along the drive I was hit and kicked by the policemen in the vehicle, and I became very emotionally upset. I realized after a while that some Saharawi youths had started following us when they saw that a young Saharawi girl was being abducted. At this moment, the policemen threw me to the floor and covered my mouth with their hands.

We waited for a while for some police officers to arrive. Among the officers was the well-known Abd El Aziz, commonly called "Taouhima", who ordered the policemen to strip me naked and hold my hands while Aziz himself started touching my breasts and kissed me on the mouth. I tried to resist but I was not strong enough against the policemen.

Aziz then asked me about my relationship with different Saharawi human rights activists, including Djimi El GHALIA [ASVDH], Brahim DAHAAN [ASVDH], Brahim SABBAR [ASVDH], and Rabab AMIDAN. He also questioned me about graffiti in the Maatallah district and the reception recently organized for Hammad HMAD (another well-known human rights activist) at the end of last month. Aziz then threatened to rape me, bury me alive and also threatened to have my father fired and to detain my young brothers.

Regarding my involvement in the leaflet distribution at schools in El Ayoun, he threatened me and intimidated me in order to have me drop out. He then ordered the other policemen to sodomize me with their batons. I will never forget this tragic and inhumane moment.

They handcuffed me again, this time hands and feet. Now Abd El Aziz Anouche asked me about my relationship with the activist Ahmed SBAÏ [ASVDH] and any preparations for the 33rd anniversary of the SADR [Western Sahara's government in exile]. They also threatened to kill me if I made any statement available on the internet.

Later they released me near the Hassan II hospital after stealing the 100 Moroccan Dirhams (about 10 US Dollars) I had on me.

I decided to make this statement so that all possible forces can intervene, as the silence about these crimes in Western Sahara encourages the torturers to continue and commit many more atrocities.

This work is in the public domain
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