On the Web: A Saharawi student leader expelled from Spain and imprisoned in Morocco.

On the Web: A Saharawi student leader expelled from Spain and imprisoned in Morocco.

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Saturday January 26th, 2019 by porunsaharalibre

Lahoucine Amaadour (Saharawi name Husein Bachir Brahim) will be presented to the judge of instruction in Marrakesh on 29 January.

The young man was deported on 17 January from the Canary Islands after refusing an application for asylum in circumstances that until now have not been clarified by the Spanish authorities, and detained by the Moroccan authorities on his return, and is currently detained in Oudaya prison in Marrakesh.

Who is Lahoucine Amaadour / Husein Bachir Brahim?

Husein Bachir Brahim Saharaui was born on January 3, 1991 in Guelmin, grew up in the capital of Western Sahara, El Aaiun where he spent his childhood until the family went to live in Tan Tan. As all Sahrawis he has an “Moroccan” name Lahoucine Amaadour, imposed by the occupation authorities and that is the official name throughout the documentation.

In 2011/2012 he began his public law studies at the Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, and was in the third year of law when he had to interrupt his studies due to the persecution of the Moroccan authorities. Amaadour was known for his political activity and one of the leaders of the Association of Saharawi Students who defends the rights of students, but also advocates the independence of Western Sahara.

Like all Saharawi activists, this young student was also the victim of political persecution and intimidation by the Moroccan police.

Since 2016 Amaadour was forced to avoid all public appearances. The year in which the students known as the El Uali group were arrested and sentenced to 3 and 10 years in prison. Ten of these students were released on 25 January 2019. The Moroccan authorities issued a national search and arrest warrant for Amaadour which according to the Moroccan authorities is the head of the Saharawi student organizations and all protests at the university of Agadir.

The arrival in Spain

In a situation of desperation due to the intensive search of the Moroccan authorities Amaadour decided to cross the Atlantic in a boat of emigrants and on 11 January arrived at the Island of Lanzarote. On arrival he was arrested by the Spanish police and immediately asked for political Asylum.

What happened next is not very clear, due to the problems posed by the Spanish authorities to let Amaadour talk to his family. After a phone call in which Amaadour said he had been with a lawyer and was going to court on the 14th, there was no further information until he learned of his expulsion. It remains to be ascertained whether or not he was at the Court, but it appears that it did not go to court and did not have time to initiate any legal action.

The contours of this expulsion are yet to be clarified, the refusal of asylum raises serious questions since Amaadour fits in and has all the necessary requirements for acceptance of asylum request in accordance with Spanish and European law.

The young man went on dry hunger strike (without food or liquid intake) until his deportation to Nadour on 17 January. It is not known whether he had medical care during that time.

Fundación Sahara Occidental (FUSO) was contacted to locate the young man since he did not contact the family for several days. A day after being located and FUSO being in the process of hiring a lawyer to represent him, Amaadour was deported.

Back to Morocco

On arrival in Nadour, the young man was subjected to a first interrogation by the Moroccan authorities, based on the search and arrest warrant. According to the information of the family Amaadour refused to sign the documents that were presented to him since the content does not correspond to the their statements.

The questions focused on his political and student activity and his opinion on the conflict in Western Sahara and which Saharawi activists he knows.

The same type of interrogation was repeated in Casablanca, where according to the family, Amaadour denounced being beaten. Once more he refused to sign any documents.

On 21 January Amaadour was presented to the King’s Procuratorate in Marrakesh and sent to the Oudaya prison in Marrakesh.

Next January 29 he will be presented to the Judge of first instance.

This detention occurred only a few days before the release, on 25 January, of 10 students of the El Uali group detained in 2016 (Nasser Amenkoura, Mustafa Burkah, Omar Laajna, Mohammed Rgueibi, Ali Shargui, Hamza Ramí, El Wafi Wakari, Ahmed Abba Ali, Ibrahim Almasih, Salek Baber). Omar Beijni will be released in March this year and El Kantaoui Albar, Abedmoula Elhafidi, Aziz Aluahidi and Mohammed Dada are still being held serving a 10-year sentence of which 7 are still to be fulfilled.

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