Solidar, an international, Brussels-based organisation, annually celebrates the achievements of individuals and organisations who are active in the fight for social justice, through their Silver Rose Awards.
Aminatu Haidar, active member of the Sahrawi human rights organisation CODESA, will receive the prize at a ceremony on 16 October this year. Solidar explains:
"Born in Western Sahara in 1967, she has played a leading role in a number of campaigns organised for the release of Saharawi prisoners of conscience and political prisoners since becoming involved in the political struggle in the 1980s. Although a supporter of Frente Polisario, she is not a member of any political party.
Haidar has been arrested and imprisoned several times (most recently released in 2006) for protesting non-violently for the right of self determination for the people of the Western Sahara. Never given any formal explanation for her "disappearances", she also suffered mistreatment and torture during her time in custody. She continues to work towards her goal of achieving self-determination for the Saharawi using non-violent means, despite the danger in which this places her and her two children, and to raise awareness of their plight internationally whenever possible. Aminatou Haidar also collects and disseminates information on human rights violations committed by the Moroccan authorities."
Haidar was nominated by the Solidar member organisation Volkshilfe, Austria.
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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