WASHINGTON, D.C./Boujdour, Western Sahara – On December 15, 2021, Saharawi human rights defenders met in El-Ayune with David Fisher, Political Advisor of the American Embassy in Morocco, specifically to talk about human rights violations in Western Sahara. They especially highlighted the abuse of Sultana Khaya and her family in Boujdour which included rape, sexual torture, arbitrary detention, and injections of unknown poisons. They told Fisher, “We hold the U.S. government responsible for the grave human rights violations of the Saharawis under the Moroccan occupation.”
Despite extensive documentation by respected human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the U.S. State Department virtually ignores the human rights abuses in Western Sahara in their annual Human Rights Report issued on April 12, 2022. Completely missing from the report was any of the information transmitted to David Fisher at the meeting on December 15th.
Moroccan Occupation Forces took this as a green light to continue the abuse and torture of Saharawis. On April 13, 2022, Abed Al-Mounim Hamadi, son of prominent human rights defender, Hamadi Mohamed-Lamin Nasiri, was beaten by Moroccan police and lost consciousness. His father said that “my son was tortured mercilessly, resulting in a concussion, his upper teeth bashed in, bruises over his whole body, and vomiting blood.” Nasiri went on to say, “I will begin a sit-in to denounce this criminal operation and to demand an investigation to hold those responsible to account.”