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Here the Norwegian human rights activists are being followed by police
rafto_marrakech_510.jpg

The Rafto Foundation for Human Rights is being followed by Moroccan police. On their hotel's own surveillance system, the Rafto delegation could see how the police followed them.
Published: 11.12 - 2014 11:55Printer version    
The two employees of the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights who were expelled from occupied Western Sahara yesterday arrived the Moroccan city of Marrakech late last night. There, they have been followed by the police.

When they arrived the hotel in Marrakech, they were followed by the police from the moment they left the taxi they had been deported in.

"Shortly after we had walked from the taxi to the hotel, our followers knocked on the door to the reception. We do not know what the police told the host, but we were suddenly told that the hotel where we were supposed to sleep was full. Then we were followed by the host to another hotel", Dahle explained to the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

"It was on this second hotel that the photograph above was shot. The police obviously needed a long conversation with the employees of the hotel there too", Dahle told.

The picture above was taken midnight European time. The policemen came in a group, and stayed close to the hotel long after the photo was taken.

The delegation, consisting of Bjørnar Østerhus Dahle and Kristina Vågen Fiskum, was yesterday expelled from Western Sahara by Moroccan police. This was the fifth Norwegian delegation expelled from occupied Western Sahara so far this year. The two Norwegians are to meet with the Moroccan National Human Rights Council tomorow.

"The Moroccan government's surveillance and undermining of the work we were supposed to do serves only to confirm the stories which our Saharawi colleagues are telling us. It is hard to understand how the Saharawi human rights activists are supposed to work under such circumstances", Vågen Fiskum told.

The Rafto Foundation for Human Rights in 2002 awarded the Rafto Prize to the Saharawi activist Sidi Mohamed Daddach who had then recently been releaced from 24 years in Moroccan jails.

The Norwegian group travelled to the territory to speak with members of the association of Sidi Mohamed Daddach both regarding the human rights situation as well as to gather their opinions on the illegal oil industry taking place there. The Norwegian seismic services company SeaBird was uncovered doing seismic studies in Western Sahara only few days ago.

    




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Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.

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