WASHINGTON, D.C./Boujdour, Western Sahara, May 15/16, 2022 — At midnight a truck repeatedly crashed into the home of the Khaya Sisters. It smashed the house and garage doors 3 times. Local people stopped the truck from smashing into the front door and halted the attack. Witnesses shared that the truck first attempted to hit the east side of the house but the street was too narrow so it went to the other side.
The truck appeared to be empty. The first Moroccan “police” car on the scene drove by, appearing to ignore the attack. Within minutes, approximately 30 Moroccan agents appeared, some of who had previously participated in home invasions and assaults on the Khaya family, including rape.No investigation took place. No one questioned any witnesses. The driver of the truck is unknown. “Police” escorted the truck away. Sultana Khaya said, “The whole house shook. For a huge truck to crash three times into the door of my home is an obvious attempt to harm my family and my American guests.”Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor at the University of San Francisco and expert on Western Sahara said, “This seems like a bizarre and despicable attempt to harm or injure the Khaya sisters and their guests.”The Khaya Sisters are human rights defenders in Western Sahara who advocate against violence toward women and for the self-determination of the Saharawi people. They have been the subject of a siege for more than 500 days and in March were visited by American tourists who have been staying in the home.
The Americans are part of a US coalition called Just Visit Western Sahara. It is a network of groups and individuals committed to peace and justice for the Saharawi people, protection of their human rights, respect for international law, and encouraging Americans and international travelers to witness the beauty and appeal of Western Sahara and to see the reality of the Moroccan occupation for themselves.