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News Archive 2009
News Archive 2008

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Western Sahara hunger striker taken to hospital
* Activist Haidar still on hunger strike, lawyer says
* Spain said in indirect talks with Morocco on return home
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Dec 17 (Reuters) - A Western Saharan activist on hunger strike for over a month in Spain's Canary Islands was taken to hospital on Thursday, and negotiations on her case were said to be under way in Washington.

Aminatou Haidar, who campaigns for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco, has been on hunger strike at Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands for 32 days.

Television images showed her being moved to hospital on Thursday and she was said to be suffering from severe stomach and abdominal pains and vomiting.

Her lawyer said she would not end her hunger strike. "The treatment she is receiving is just to relieve and calm the pain and Aminatou will continue her hunger strike," said Ines Miranda.

Haidar, 43, who has continued to take liquids, began her protest after Moroccan authorities refused her entry when she returned home from a trip abroad, confiscated her passport and put her on a plane to the Canary Islands.

A report in the daily El Pais said Morocco had sent a high level delegation to the United States to try to negotiate a resolution to the case, which has embarrassed the Spanish government.

The report said two close advisers to Morocco's head of state, King Mohammed, held talks in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday with U.S. officials, and Spain was being kept informed of progress.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he hoped and trusted the case would be resolved quickly. He said sensitive behind-the-scenes diplomatic work was going on but declined to give details.

Spanish celebrities including film actor Javier Bardem have said Zapatero will be partly to blame if Haidar dies. Media and the opposition have accused the government of incompetence in allowing the Moroccans to send her to Spain. (Reporting by Raquel Castillo, writing by Nigel Davies, editing by Tim Pearce)




News archive:
14.04 - 2010RFK and HRW call for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
10.04 - 2010Morocco to appoint a Polisario deserter Ambassador to Spain
09.04 - 2010Morocco must end harassment of Sahrawi activists
05.04 - 2010Worldwide appeal for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
06.04 - 2010Moroccan crack-down against group of Saharawi activists
04.04 - 2010Appeal by political prisoner's mother
02.04 - 2010Health Sahrawi political prisoners on hunger strike deteriorating
16.03 - 2010Emprisoned Saharawi activist wins human rights award
05.03 - 2010First EU-Morocco summit: Donít forget human rights in Western Sahara
05.03 - 2010Take action for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara
24.02 - 2010European Parliament's lawyers declare EU fishing illegal
12.02 - 2010Parties to Western Sahara dispute commit to further UN-backed talks
09.02 - 2010Parties in Western Sahara dispute to hold new round of talks tomorrow
28.01 - 2010Morocco slammed for Sahara travel ban
23.01 - 2010Peak phosphorous: mankind's latest threat
18.12 - 2009Activist's "victory" over Morocco puts Sahara back on world agenda
18.12 - 2009Activist heads home after ending hunger strike
17.12 - 2009As UN Council meets on Western Sahara, ill Haidar is freed
17.12 - 2009Western Sahara hunger striker taken to hospital
05.12 - 2009AU calls on Moroccan authorities to allow return of rights activist

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.