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After four days disappearence Mustapha Abdaiem found in the new prison in Sale, without the help of the Moroccan authorities
08/06/2011

   

 

   

Four days after his kidnapping by Moroccan authorities from his cell in the prison of Tiznit, the Saharawi political prisoner and writer, Mustapha Abdaiem, was found by his family on Wednesday morning in the new prison in Sale (near Rabat) thanks to a big mobilization and contribution of Saharawi activists, political prisoners and students who were able to localize him. The Moroccan authorities refused to give the family any kind of information about why he was kidnapped from the prison of Tiznit or where he was transferred.

Two sisters of the writer, Mariam and Malika, were finally allowed to see him for ten minutes from behind bars, after they came with his brother and his two nephews to the prison demanding the right to see him. The authorities of the prison were taken by surprise and couldn’t refuse them to visit, but they only allowed the two sisters in.

Mustapha told his sisters during the ten minutes visit that he was surprised by the attack in the morning of last Saturday by a group of Moroccan officials, who handcuffed him, and put him blindfolded in a car. He said that he spent around 10 long hour drive in the car before he was installed in an individual cell.

He asserted that he didn’t know where he was, and he only knew Wednesday morning, few minutes before his sisters visited him. He also informed them that he wasn’t allowed to take his clothes or belongings from the prison of Tiznit. The two sisters affirmed that he was wearing his sleeping clothes (a T-shirt and a short pant) and that he didn’t have medicine knowing that he is diabetic and needs drugs for blood pressure too.

Mustapha further complained that he couldn’t get adequate food, knowing that he is following a special diet because of his health problems. The authorities of the prison, he informed his sisters didn’t want to listen to his complaints and gave him the normal food like any other healthy prisoner.

The Saharawi writer and political prisoner, Mustapha Abdaiem, it should be recalled, has been kidnapped Saturday 4 June 2011 early morning from his cell in Tiznit by guards to be transferred to an unknown place. His family wasn’t informed and none knows the reason behind such strange abduction from prison. The Moroccan guards had also attacked the rest of the Saharawi political prisoners in that prison, ill-treating them and confiscating their belonging. The Saharawi political prisoners in Tiznit prison entered a hunger strike the next day and are still protesting this arbitrary attack.

The Saharawi writer was imprisoned since 2008 because of his political views in favour of the independence of Western Sahara, was not given the chance to put on his clothes, according to his cell comrades, and he was kidnapped along with another Saharawi political prisoner, Mahmoud Abou Alqasem.

In a phone call last Thursday 2 June 2011, the writer was able to tell the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union that he fears from a possible attack from the Moroccan authorities because of his writings that are published on the website of the Union, in which he expresses his political views.

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Background: The story of Mustapha Abd Daiem

Mustapha Abd Daiem was born in March 1962 in the Moroccan city of Sale, he graduated in Philosophy from the university of Mohamed V in Rabat in 1984, and graduated from the Regional Centre of Teachers in El Qunaitira (Morocco) in 1986, to work as a teacher of Arabic language and Islamic sciences.

Meanwhile, he worked as a reporter to many Moroccan newspapers, especially: “El Watan”, “Al Alam Assiyasi”, “Al Ahdath Almaghribiya” and used to publish in many other Moroccan newspapers.

In 2006 he became a member of UPES, and started publishing short stories and articles on the UPES website, criticising the Moroccan authorities’ violations in Western Sahara and unveiling the truth about many phenomenon and realities on the ground.

He used to be very active in Moroccan political parties and civil society, and is an ex-member of : “the Moroccan socialist youth”, “Ex-Member of the Bureau of the Moroccan youth workshops”, “Ex-Member of the Bureau of the Popular childhood”.

In December 2007, he was one of many Saharawis who decided to found a Saharawi Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Zag (a city in the south of Morocco) and he was elected Secretary General of the new human rights body.

Because of his writing and criticism to the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, and because he clearly indicates that he is for an independent Western Sahara, Mustapha Abd Daiem started having problems with the Moroccan authorities, especially since 2005, when he started working in the city of Zag and Assa, where there is a majority of Saharawis. As a journalist, he kept reporting in his articles about the Moroccan serious human rights’ violations and abuses in these two cities and in the other cities of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, and this didn’t suit the authorities in the city, who tried many time to intimidate him, the members of his family and his friends.

In 8 December 2006, he tried to make an end to his life in public, by pouring fuel on his body aiming to set himself on fire. Saharawi population in the street stopped him from doing so in the last minute.
In March 2007, he was attacked by a person on the sold of the Moroccan authorities, who tried to kill him. The result of the attack for the Saharawi journalist and writer was a broken arm and he was officially advised by his doctor to take 60 days off to recover (in an official certificate).

The Moroccan police didn’t arrest the criminal, and instead, the Saharawi journalist was brought before the Moroccan persecutor.

In October 2008, Mr. Mustapha Abd Daiem was arrested on the 28th October 2008, in the city of Assa (south of Morocco), because he clearly expressed support to Saharawi demonstrators in the city who were confronting Moroccan forces after the latter attacked their peaceful sit-in the same day.

When he heard about the serious attacks by the Moroccan forces against many Saharawi families’ houses (many were ransacked) he decided to release his students to give them a chance to go help their parents. He also decided to lower the Moroccan flag “as a sign of sadness and solidarity with the victims of the attack”, he said in a testimony that he sent to UPES from his prison, and published on the website.

The same day of his arrest in Assa, his sister Khadija was arrested in the city of Dakhla (a city in Western Sahara occupied by Morocco). Khadija had a misunderstanding with a Moroccan settler who works with the secret police, she went to complain at the police station, and instead of arresting or calling the Moroccan settler for interrogation, she found herself accused of a so-called “attack against a public agent while doing his duty”.

Since then, Mustapha continued to write short stories and articles from his cells, to publish them on the website of the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union (www.upesonline.info) expressing his political views against the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. Because of this, he has been transferred many times from Gulmim, to Inzegan, To Ait Melloul then to Tiznit and now to Sale prisons.

The Saharawi Journalists’ and Writers’ Union (UPES) would like to inform all international human rights organisations, associations, and the UN’s relevant bodies that it is deeply concerned about the fate and physical and moral safety of Mr. AbdDaiem, and calls on them to adopt the necessary demarches to help release him as soon as possible, especially that he was judged in the absence of his lawyers in the trial in the Moroccan court of appeal in Agadir simply because they were even not informed about the date of the trial.

 


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