Aminatou Haidar visits the Oslo Human Rights House
Wednesday 7 March at 11.30, the Norwegian Section of Amnesty International, the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara and the Human Rights House Foundation co-host an open meeting at the Human Rights House in Oslo, with the well-known Saharawi human rights defender Aminatou Haidar.
As one of the most vocal spokespersons for self-determination for Western Sahara, Haidar has been imprisoned on numerous occasions, and subjected to persecution and harassment, mistreatment and torture, purely on the basis of the Moroccon authorities´ dislike of her opinions, and the fact that she makes use of her basic human right to express them.
Altogether, Haidar has spent four years in prison, and was last released in January 2006. Due to her courage and determination, she has become a focal point and a central driving force for the non-violent opposition to the Moroccan occupation. Her work currently concentrates on having as many Western Saharan political prisoners and prisoners of conscience as possible released, and to uncover the truth aboutthe more than 500 ´disappearances´ of Sahrawis that have taken place during the Moroccan occupation. Above, Haidar greeting fellow Sahrawis after one of her releases from prison, this one in 2004.
In addition to Haidar, Ann-Christin Johnsgård, Norwegian Amnesty´s Country coordinator for Morocco and Western Sahara and Ronny Hansen, Director of the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, will speak. The meeting will be chaired by Niels Jacob Harbitz, Programme Coordinator for Africa at Human Rights House Foundation.
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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