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Concluded visit to Norway
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The student Elkouria Amidane from Western Sahara visited Norway from July 20th to August 6th 2007.
Published: 06.08 - 2007 15:07Printer version    
It has been a busy month for the 22 year old Sahrawi student and human rights activist Elkouria Amidane. Amidane is on a 16 day tour to Norway/Sweden, meeting with youth and student organisations. The aim of her tour is to give testimony of the frequent attacks committed against Sahrawis at universities and other places of higher education in Morocco and Western Sahara.



On the first day of her stay in Norway, July 21st, Amidane was international guest at the summer camp of the Labour Party Youth, on which she gave a presentation about the Sahrawi students' situation. The same day, Amidane also met the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, who told that when he was the leader of the Labour Party Youth, they visited Polisario in Algeria. Amidane thanked Stoltenberg for the Norwegian foreign policy on the Western Sahara question.

Amidane also met with parliamentarian Mr. Truls Wickholm, as well as several of the leaders of the Labour Youth.

July 24th to 26th, Amidane spent in Gothenburg, Sweden, meeting with representatives of the student parliament of the Gothenburg University, as well as with the student group of Amnesty International Gothenburg.

Back in Oslo from July 26th, Amidane met with the Norwegian Student Union and the Norwegian Association of Students. The two organisations, with more than 200.000 members in Norway, expressed their strong support for the struggle that the Sahrawi students are leading. The same was expressed in a meeting with the Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund.

From Saturday 28th to Wednesday 1st, Amidane participated at the annual summer camp of the Young Liberals of Norway. It is the Young Liberals who invited Amidane to Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian Children and Youth Council's All Different All Equal campaign on human rights. Amidane had talks with Liberal Party's parliamentarians Mr. Odd Einar Dørum and Ms Trine Skei Grande. Dørum has been minister in two Norwegian governments. Skei Grande asked in April a question in the Norwegian parliament regarding what the Norwegian government intends to do for the protection of human rights for the Sahrawi people. The Liberal Party politicians expressed their strong support for the Sahrawi cause, underlining their demand that the Norwegian government recognises the Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic.

Thursday 2nd, Amidane gave a presentation to the summer camp of Press -Save the Children Youth, at Nærsnes, Hurum, and was received by the vice-president, Marianne Nerland. Nærsnes is also the place where the Norwegian seismic survey company TGS-Nopec had their offices until recently.

Friday 3rd, Amidane presented her story at the Centre Youth summer camp in Seljord, Telemark. She had talks with the organisation's president, Mr. Erlend Fuglum, as well as with the majority of the board members of the organisation present at the camp.

Saturday 4th, Amidane was guest at the summer camp of the Socialist Youth summer camp in Risøya. She met with the international secretary, Karine Hektoen, and with parliamentarian Mr. Bjørn Jacobsen.

Both the Centre Youth, the Socialist Youth and the Labour Youth underlined in their meetings with Amidane that they demand that the Norwegian government recognises the Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic. The current Norwegian government constitutes of the three youth organisations' mother parties.

Monday 6th of August, before leaving the country, Amidane met with the chairman of the Norwegian Young Conservatives, Mr. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, as well as with representatives of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and with Trade Union for Industry and Energy.

Most of the organisations that received Amidane signed May 23rd a letter to the Moroccan government demanding the protection of the Sahrawi students. Amidane has given the organisations updates on the attacks that have taken place since the letter was sent, and thanked the organisations for the support they have shown. She spoke to several hundred people during her tour in Norway.

The Rafto House Foundation has published a long story about the work carried out by Amidane, as well as the violations of human rights committed against the Sahrawi students.


Amidane with the chairman of the Centre Youth, Mr. Erlend Fuglum.


From left: Ragnhild Buch Sivertsen, vice-president of the Norwegian Student Union, Elkouria Amidane, Olav Øye, president of Norwegian Association of Students, and Tina Marii Skare, International president of Norwegian Association of Students.


Elkouria Amidane with Gothenburg University team of Amnesty International.


Amidane at Centre Youth summer camp.


Amidane at Centre Youth summer camp.


Amidane at Centre Youth summer camp.


Amidane at Labour Youth summer camp.


Amidane with Marianne Nerland, vice-president of Press -Save the Children Youth.


Amidane with Karine Hektoen, international leader of Socialist Youth League of Norway.


From left: International president of the Labour Youth, Mr. Aasmund Aukrust, Amidane and international advisor in the same organisation, Silje Rygland.


In front of the old offices of the Norwegian seismic survey company, TGS-Nopec, at Nærnes, Hurum.


Press -Save the Children Youth summer camp.


Amidane with Ronny Hansen, chairman of the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.


With parliamentarian Mr. Bjørn Jacobsen, from the government Socialist Left Party.


Amidane at the Socialist Left summer camp in Risøya.


With participants of the Young Liberals of Norway summer camp.


Speaking to members of the Young Liberals of Norway.


With the chairman of the Yount Liberals of Norway, Mr. Lars-Henrik Michelsen.


With parliamentarian Mr. Odd Einar Dørum from the Liberal Party.


With parliamentarian Ms Trine Skei Grande from the Liberal Party.


With Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg.


With Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg.


With Amalie Tofte, international officer at Trade Union for Industry and Energy, and Camilla Houeland, Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.


With Chairman of the Norwegian Young Conservatives, Mr. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.












    




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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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