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At 6:15PM CET, ten foreign students were stopped by police in southern Morocco. The ten had plans to visit occupied Western Sahara, but were stopped in a checkpoint through the Moroccan city of Sidi Ifni.
"The police gave us different explanations all the time. First, they told us that it was not safe in Sidi Ifni. Then they said they did not know why, but that they had received strict orders to not let us through. They said it was forbidden for us to travel further south", Sara Sara Shafighi told, member of the city council of Trondheim, Norway.
The students came travelling in two rental cars from Agadir.
"The police has now ordered us to return to a city further north in Morocco, Ms Urte Sniaukstaite, originally from Lithuania told.
The ten had plans to travel to the territory of Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation, to meet with Saharawis. Western Sahara is considered by the UN as the last unresolved colonial question in Africa. The people there has right to self-determination, but a referendum on independence is being obstructed by Morocco, which is occupying the territory.
Above (from left): Nadia Alexandra Mutoni, Noway, Mascha Burgerhoudt, from the Netherlands, student in Norway, Dina Henden, Norway Erle Runde, Norway, Priya Kaur Bains, Norway
Above (from left). Caroline Macri, Italy/Norway, Katrine Inderberg, Norway, Sara Shafighi, Norway, Urte Sniaukstaite, Norway and Frida Johansen, Norway.
Above: Caroline Macri (Italy), Urte Sniaukstaite (Lithuania)
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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