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Key ring convict appeals for assistance

The human rights activits Naama Asfari asks for Norwegian and international help to attend trials against Sahrawis. In August, Asfari was sentenced to jail for carrying a keyring with the Sahrawi flag.
Published: 31.10 - 2009 20:50Printer version    
Finally, the Sahrawi Naama Asfari has got a date for the treatment of his appeal case. On 16 November, he will again be before a court, almost three months after he was convicted to a four month imprisonment.

Asfari was convicted by a Moroccan court on 27 August for carrying a keyring with the Sahrawi flag .

The organisation Human Rights Watch criticised the August process. Accusations from Asfari that he had been subjected to police violence was never investigated. It is far from sure that this case will proceed in any better manner.

On phone from his prison cell in Morocco this afternoon, he asks the Norwegian Support Committe to convey the message that he and his Sahrawi fellow political prisoners need international presence during the court processes.

"It is only through international presence that there is a tiny chance for us Sahrawis in the Moroccan court system. By attending our trials, observers can also experience the total lack of justice we are victims of. The entire law system is chaped to discriminate the Sahrawis and our political opinions", said Asfari to the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

He is himself disappointed over waiting so long for his appeal case, and said is is a violation of Morocco's international obligations to execute speedy law processes.

Asfari is married to a French, and has spent several periods in Moroccan jails. See also former stories about Asfari's prison terms and the abuse he has been subjected to.




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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