Tuesday, December 06, 2005

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES/TRIALS
The El Aaiun's court does not want observers to attend Saharawis' trials
Madrid, 04/12/2005 (SPS) Trials of 7 Saharawi human rights defenders was delayed again, last Wednesday by the Moroccan court in El Aaiun (the occupied capital of Western Sahara), which does not want international observers to attend the judgement, reported Spanish newspaper "El Periodico", quoted by Algerian Press Service, APS.
After a long day of waiting, during which about 36 accused of crimes were brought before the Moroccan court in El Aaiun, the court announced again the delay of the trials of 6 Saharawi human rights activists to December the 6th, reported El Periodico's special envoy, Joseph Sauri, who was not allowed to attend the trial.
''This is an illegal and unfair attitude from the court which aims at discouraging the defence and the families (of the Saharawis) as well as the international observers so as they leave the territory before they attend the trials", underlined Mr. Mohamed Fadel Lili, one of the lawyers of the 6 activists, the newspaper reported.
''During the morning, the defence, the observers dispatched by Spanish lawyers, Amnesty International, the National Council of French Lawyers and the Spanish League for Human Rights, among others, had shockingly attended, the trials of a set of persons accused of common crimes, rapes..", the newspaper wrote.
It was only at about 17.00 GMT that the Saharawi human rights activists were brought to the court. The President of the court tried to appoint new lawyers to the activists, but the 7 Saharawis categorically refused this attempt chanting slogans in favour of Saharawi people's right to self-determination and of Polisario Front, El Periodico stressed.
Ali Salem Tamek denounced "the manipulation of these political trials", Aminatou Haidar accused the court of ''complicity in masking the truth'' and Hmad Hamad thanked the international observers for their presence so as to see by their own eyes this ''parodies of trials''.
Getting out of the court, after the suspension of the session, Mr. Olivier Guilbaud, Representative of French lawyers declared that ''the Moroccan justice has lost the opportunity it had to show it is serious. Instead it gave a shameful image of itself".
''The international observers had had the impression that Rabat is permanently delaying the trials so as to avoid disturbing witnesses, knowing that the observers can not stay forever in El Aaiun", El Periodico said.
''Did it succeed? , he wandered. This is not sure''. ''They are trying to discourage us, but some of us will be present again on Tuesday'', asserted one of the observers.
The trials were postponed the first time last November the 22. The 7 Saharawi human rights activists presented to the court are Mr. Ali Salem Tamek, Mr. Hmad Hamad, Mr. Brahim Noumria, Mrs. Aminatou Haidar, Mr. Larbi Messaoud, Mr. Hocine Lidri and Mr. Mohamed Moutaouakil. Moroccan authorities consider them as the agitators behind the demonstrations in favour of independence that broke in Western Sahara since last May the 21st 2005. (SPS)



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