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News Archive 2009
News Archive 2008

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Morocco hinders Saharawi activist's vital surgery

Ali Salem Tamek, a well known Saharawi human rights defender, was about to leave for Europe to undergo surgery, when the Moroccan police came to arrest his wife on false charges.
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Ali Salem Tamek and his wife El Khalifa Rgabi were already in Casablanca, expecting to board a flight for Madrid tomorrow, Friday 15 November 2013. They would then continue their trip to Paris, where Tamek is supposed to undergo an important surgical procedure.

But earlier this morning, Moroccan police officers came to their hotel and arrested Tamek’s wife, accusing her of being involved in a case of theft that took place in El Aaiun in June. The police claims they've been looking for her ever since, but that they could not locate her. Though she is now being approached as a sought felon, El Khalifa has travelled abroad since June, without any problems.

The police has ordered El Khalifa to go back to El Aaiun to present herself to court. Tamek – not leaving without his wife – is now accompanying her to El Aaiun, aborting his plans for his much needed surgery.

Frontline Defenders has provided Ali Salem Tamek with a grant for the operation, which Tamek is expected to use within a limited timeframe. The arrest of his wife, based on false accusations, now takes up valuable time, and consequently threatens Tamek’s chances of being able to afford the medical procedure he so requires.

Ali Salem Tamek is one of Western Sahara’s most known human rights activists. He has been arrested and imprisoned six times for his advocacy of an independent Western Sahara. Altogether, he has spent almost six years in Moroccan prison cells. This has resulted in multiple health problems, as he was subjected to inhumane treatment and undertaking several long hunger strikes to denounce his ordeal.

His last arrest dates back to 8 October 2009, when he and six other Saharawi human rights defenders were arrested at Casablanca airport upon their return from a visit to the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria. In a dangerous precedent, he was referred to a military tribunal, rather than a civil court, charged with treason and accused of “undermining Morocco’s external security and territorial integrity”. Ali Salem Tamek was provisionally released on 14 April 2011. The charges against him have not been cleared.



15.02 - 2016 / 15.02 - 2016Hunger striking to demand education
13.02 - 2014 / 13.02 - 2014Saharawi journalists jailed for covering protests and plunder
14.11 - 2013 / 14.11 - 2013Morocco hinders Saharawi activist's vital surgery
19.09 - 2013 / 19.09 - 2013Mass Grave Revealed in Western Sahara
31.05 - 2013 / 31.05 - 2013Dutch vessel transporting resources from occupied Western Sahara
10.03 - 2011 / 10.03 - 2011Parties Conclude Another Round of Talks
25.02 - 2011 / 25.02 - 2011Hungering for justice: Saharawi political prisoners on hunger strike
11.02 - 2011 / 11.02 - 2011Take Action for Human Rights Monitoring in Western Sahara
11.02 - 2011 / 11.02 - 2011Germany indicts alleged Moroccan spy
19.12 - 2010 / 19.12 - 2010So much for human rights
27.05 - 2010 / 27.05 - 2010Amnesty International's annual report: Morocco / Western Sahara
18.05 - 2010 / 18.05 - 2010Moroccan court bails three Western Sahara activists
17.05 - 2010 / 17.05 - 2010Guinness World Records challenged over Moroccan flag stunt
08.05 - 2010 / 08.05 - 2010Beware the Warnings of al Qaeda
06.05 - 2010 / 06.05 - 2010The arms sellers countries extend the conflict in Western Sahara
05.05 - 2010 / 05.05 - 2010Fate abducted Saharawi citizen still unknown
29.04 - 2010 / 29.04 - 2010Second Tier Titans clash on Human Rights in Western Sahara
28.04 - 2010 / 28.04 - 2010France opposing Security Council on Human Rights
27.04 - 2010 / 27.04 - 2010Spain in favour of human rights monitoring in Western Sahara?
22.04 - 2010 / 22.04 - 2010European Parliamentarians demand release WS political prisoners

Africa's last colony Since 1975, three quarters of the Western Sahara territory has been illegally occupied by Morocco. The original population lives divided between those suffering human rights abuses under the Moroccan occupation and those living in exile in Algerian refugee camps. For more than 40 years, the Saharawi await the fulfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
Trailer: Western Sahara, Africa's last colony


Have a look at this teaser for the upcoming documentary "Western Sahara, Africa's last colony". Coming soon.
Book: International Law and the Question of Western Sahara


To our knowledge the first collective book on the legal aspects of the Western Sahara conflict. Available in English and French.